Courses - Fall 2019

HIST 1200 FWS: Writing History

How can we learn about the past? How do we tell stories about the past? How do we judge the truth of falsity of evidence? Writing History seminars introduce students to many different ways of interpreting and writing about the past, and to the wide range of sources that historians use: from diaries to tax rolls, from scraps of textile to films and advertisements. Topics and readings vary by section.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Dallos (mrd243)
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HIST 1321 FWS: Post-World War II America: Crisis and Continuity
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kelly King-O'Brien (kk775)
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HIST 1400 FWS: Rudyard Kipling's India: Literature, History, and Empire

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), most famous today as the author of children's stories, including The Jungle Book, was one of the most popular and acclaimed writers of his day. He was also a noted chronicler of the world of the British empire. In this class, we will read the short stories, poems and novels that Kipling wrote about India – including his most famous novel, Kim. Students will explore the intersections between Kipling's stories and the history of British rule in India, and also consider the broader question of how fictional works can be used to explore the history of past cultures.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Thomas Travers (trt5)
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HIST 1402 FWS: Global Islam

This course looks at Islam as a global phenomenon, both historically and in the contemporary world.  We spend time on the genesis of Islam in the Middle East, but then move across the Muslim would in various weeks (to Africa;Turkey; Iran; Eurasia; Southeast Asia; East Asia) and to the West to see how Islam looks across global boundaries.  The course tries to flesh out the diversity of Islam within the central message of this world religion.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Eric Tagliacozzo (et54)
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HIST 1415 FWS: China's Classical Age

The Han Dynasty (206 b.c.e.-220 c.e.) saw the development of institutions, values, and practices that had lasting influences on later societies. Much as people today invoke Greek exemplars such as democracy, Han models of ethics, governance, religion, and medicine remain vital. In this course we will learn the ways in which historians analyze a wide array of Han era sources, and place those sources in their historical contexts. We will cultivate writing, analytical, and research skills with short exercises, by building arguments in essays, and through essay peer review.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
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HIST 1453 FWS: In Search of Ethiopia: History, Myth and Politics

Ethiopia, one of the oldest states in Africa, has a rich history that is often enveloped in myths and legends.  Home to a number of ethnic and religious communities, Ethiopia's political geography changed as new dynasties came to the forefront.  Each new dynasty offered its own creation myth that legitimated its power and control over other communities.  Ethiopia's colorful and dynamic history has helped nurture the political aspirations of many beyond its boundaries.  Christian chroniclers claimed it as the home of the Queen of Sheba.  Continental Africans and Africans in the diaspora celebrated it as a symbol of African achievement and a beacon of independence because it was the only indigenous African state to retain its independence following Europe's division of Africa in the nineteenth century. The name of Ethiopia's last emperor before he assumed the throne, Ras Tafari, helped launch a new religion – Rastafarism.  This course juxtaposes Ethiopian history against the myths and legends that shaped Ethiopia and gave rise to Ethiopianism, a complex array of cultural, religious, and political movements in other parts of Africa as well as the African diaspora.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Judith Byfield (jab632)
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HIST 1511 The Making of Modern Europe, from 1500 to the Present

How do we make sense of the Brexit vote in Great-Britain, the rise of political Islam and the "veil" debates in France, the anti-globalization movements in Spain and Greece, the growth of demagogic anti-immigrant parties from the Netherlands to Italy, or the fact that Swedes get more than thirty paid days off per year?  This course seeks to answer these questions by exploring the history of modern Europe.  Among other themes, we will discuss the Protestant Reformation, the rise of absolutism, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialism, colonialism, the Russian Revolution, the two world wars, decolonization and immigration, May '68, and the construction of the European Union.  In conjunction, we will examine how modern ideologies (liberalism, Marxism, imperialism, conservatism, fascism, totalitarianism) were developed and challenged.  Through a wide array of historical documents (fiction, letters, philosophy, treatises, manifestoes, films, and art), we will consider why "old Europe" is still relevant for us today.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Weil (rjw5)
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HIST 1595 African American History From 1865

Focusing on political and social history, this course surveys African-American history from Emancipation to the present. The class examines the post-Reconstruction "Nadir" of black life; the mass black insurgency against structural racism before and after World War II; and the Post-Reform Age that arose in the wake of the dismantling of legal segregation. The course will familiarize students with the basic themes of African-American life and experience and equip them to grasp concepts of political economy; class formation; and the intersection of race, class and gender.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Russell Rickford (rr447)
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HIST 1660 The Vikings and their World

Globalization may seem like a recent hot topic, but it was already very much in vogue 1000 years ago when Norse explorers burst out of Scandinavia to journey as far as North America, Azerbaijan, the Mediterranean and the White Sea. This course will introduce students to the Norsemen and women of the Viking Age and the centuries following it, weaving together literary, chronicle, archaeological and other sources to tell the remarkable stories of these medieval entrepreneurs and of the many people and places they encountered. Along the way, students will also pick up crucial historical thinking skills: assessing change and continuity over time, learning the basics of source criticism, and gaining an appreciation for interdisciplinary research. This course qualifies for credit towards the undergraduate minor in Viking Studies. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Oren Falk (of24)
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HIST 1700 History of Exploration: Land, Sea, and Space

From ancient seafarers to the Mars rovers, from Christopher Columbus to the Apollo astronauts, humans have for centuries explored the far reaches of our planet and are now venturing into the solar system and beyond. This course examines the history of such human activity. Among the topics covered are motives for exploration, technological advances that assist exploration, obstacles that must be overcome, the roles of leaders, the spread of information about exploration, and positive and negative consequences of exploration. It is led by Steven Squyres of Astronomy and Eric Tagliacozzo of History, with the assistance of guest lecturers.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Squyres (sws6)
Eric Tagliacozzo (et54)
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HIST 1802 Introduction to Latinos in U.S. History

This course seeks a fuller recounting of U.S. history by remapping what we understand as "America." We will examine traditional themes in the teaching of U.S. history—territorial expansion and empire, migration and nation building, industrialization and labor, war and revolution, and citizenship and transnationalism—but we will examine this "American experience" in a broader hemispheric context and include as actors americanos of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, and Central/South American ancestries.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maria Cristina Garcia (mcg20)
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HIST 1920 Modern China

This course surveys modern Chinese history from 1600 to present. Time will be devoted to each of the three major periods into which modern Chinese history is conventionally divided: the Imperial Era (1600-1911), the Republican Era (1911-1949), and the People's Republic of China (1949-present). It guides students through pivotal events in modern Chinese history, and uncovers the origins of China's painful transition from a powerful early modern empire to a country torn by civil unrest and imperialist invasion, and then from a vanguard of world revolution to a post-communist party-state whose global power is on the rise.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Yue Du (yd367)
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HIST 1970 Pirates, Slaves, and Revolutionaries: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to Louverture

What is the Caribbean? How did its native inhabitants fared in the aftermath of the arrival of Europeans? How did the region shift from a Spanish Lake to a heavily contested geopolitical site where all European powers vied for political and commercial superiority? What were the main production systems of the region and how did they result in dramatic environmental change? How did the eighteenth-century revolutions transform the Caribbean? In this introductory survey to Caribbean history we will answer these and many other questions through the study of the political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental transformations of the Caribbean from the arrival of Columbus to the era of the Haitian Revolution. We will follow indigenous people, Spanish conquistadors, English, Dutch, and French pirates and privateers, planters, and merchants, imperial officers, slaves, sailors, and revolutionaries as they adapted to the multiple transformations that shaped this region. Through lectures, discussions, and readings of primary and secondary sources we will navigate the Caribbean in a quest to understand the historical processes that gave shape to this tropical paradise.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ernesto Bassi Arevalo (eb577)
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HIST 2001 Supervised Reading - Undergraduate

Independent Study based supervised reading with history faculty.  Student must complete Independent Study Form with faculty supervisor for determining requirements and for permission to enroll through the online system (https://data.arts/cornell.edu/as-stus/indep_study_intro.cfm).  Student then work with their faculty supervisor throughout the semester for successful completion and grading of the agreed upon requirements.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Edward Baptist (eeb36)
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HIST 2082 Of Ice and Men: Masculinities in the Medieval North

The Middle Ages are usually imagined as a time of manly men and feminine women: no room for gender ambiguity in Conan the Barbarian! Yet gender, then as now, was in fact unstable, multiple, and above all, constructed. This course explores the different ways masculinity was understood, manufactured, and manipulated in northern Europe – primarily early Ireland, England, and Scandinavia – using a variety of literary, legal, historical, archaeological, and artistic sources. Students will gain new perspectives on both gender and sex, on the one hand, and the history of medieval Europe, on the other.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Oren Falk (of24)
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HIST 2157 Tolstoy: History and Counter-Culture

Tolstoy is impossible. An aristocrat who renounced his wealth. A man of titanic appetites who repeatedly swore off meat, alcohol and sex. A Christian who didn't believe in God. An anarchist who ruled his own estate like an ancient patriarch. A writer of genius who thought literature was evil and a waste of time and referred to his greatest book as "garbage." An inexhaustible skeptic who wanted nothing but mere faith. In Tolstoy's imaginative universe, we may find the origin of many modern contradictions and anxieties, about money, about sec and about power. But Tolstoy's modern consciousness was not created in Paris or New York. Tolstoy was made in late imperial Russia - notoriously, the least modern country in nineteenth-century Europe. How, then, did Tolstoy happen? How can we account historically for his epic project of self-fashioning? In this seminar, we will see Tolstoy at work in the creation of an heroic counter-cultural persona, writing against the social and political currents of his own time.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Olga Litvak (ol76)
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HIST 2165 The Death of Democracy: Europe Between the World Wars

What is democracy? What does it need to thrive? When does it die? How do anti-liberal, authoritarian regimes emerge? What makes them tick?  In 1921, a British liberal announced that democracy had already been accepted as the normal and natural form of government. World War I had delivered Europe's old monarchies and autocracies a fatal blow. Three massive continental empires had fallen apart, making way to parliamentary democracies everywhere from Germany to Poland and the Balkans. Yet by the 1930s, few of these democracies were still standing. In the east, a new political experiment had culminated in the rise of a Soviet Empire. In Germany, the democratic elections of 1933 enabled Hitler's rise to power and the growth of a regime unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. In Italy, Mussolini stamped parliamentary democracy under his foot, proclaiming the victory of totalitarianism. A variety of authoritarian regimes arose in between these extremes. They formed alliances and battled each other: at first in the Spanish Civil War and then in World War II. In this seminar, we will closely examine the rise and fall of democracies and anti-democratic regimes in Europe between the two world wars, in order to understand how democracy and authoritarianism are related and what kinds of challenges democracies have faced - both in the past and at present.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cristina Florea (cf476)
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HIST 2296 History Lab: Digital History of Black Resistance

This course will use digital resources to study the history of African-American resistance to and organization against slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration/racialized policing from 1619 to the present. We will also build new resources.  In addition to the historical content, students will participate in designing, building, and testing digital humanities resources that are reshaping how we understand the past and the present.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Edward Baptist (eeb36)
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HIST 2315 The Occupation of Japan

In August 1945, Japan was a devastated country; its cities burned, its people starving, its military and government in surrender. World War II was over. The occupation had begun. What sort of society emerged from the cooperation and conflict between occupiers and occupied? Students will examine sources ranging from declassified government documents to excerpts from diaries and bawdy fiction, alongside major scholarly studies, to find out. The first half of the course focuses on key issues in Japanese history, like the fate of the emperor, constitutional revision, and the emancipation of women. The second half zooms out for a wider perspective, for the occupation of Japan was never merely a local event. It was the collapse of Japanese empire and the rise of American empire in Asia. It was decolonization in Korea and the start of the Cold War. Students will further investigate these links in final individual research projects. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
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HIST 2530 Introduction to Islamic Civilization

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, sharia law, theology, and Sufism; and assess the achievements of Muslim intellectuals in literature, art, architecture, science, and philosophy.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Powers (dsp4)
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HIST 2543 In the Crossfire of Empires: Africa and World War II

World War II was one of the most transformative periods in the history of the 20th century. As a result, scholars, writers and filmmakers continue to re-examine the war from multiple angles. Nonetheless, most accounts of the war marginalize Africa's role and the consequences of the war for African communities.   This course considers the new historiography on World War II that aims to put the 'world' back into our analysis of WW II and considers the ways in which imperialism, race and gender shaped the prosecution and the consequences of the war.  It focuses specifically on Africa's social, economic and political engagement with the powers at the center of the conflict and introduces students to emerging debates in African historiography and the historiography of World War II. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Judith Byfield (jab632)
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HIST 2562 Medicine and Healing in China

An exploration of processes of change in health care practices in China. Focuses on key transitions, such as the emergence of canonical medicine, of Daoist approaches to healing and longevity, of "scholar physicians," and of "traditional Chinese medicine" in modern China.  Inquires into the development of healing practices in relation to both popular and specialist views of the body and disease; health care as organized by individuals, families, communities, and states; the transmission of medical knowledge; and healer-patient relations. Course readings include primary texts in translation as well as secondary materials. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
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HIST 2640 Introduction to Asian American History

An introductory history of Chinese, Japanese, Asian Indians, Filipinos, and Koreans in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1990s. Major themes include racism and resistance, labor migration, community formation, imperialism, and struggles for equality.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Derek Chang (dsc37)
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HIST 2665 The American Revolutionary Era

As we approach the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the origins, character, and results of the American Revolution, as well as engaging the enduring significance of its memory in contemporary American life - why do we choose to remember the American Revolution in ways that occlude its divisive and bloody events? This course explores many of the key themes of this critical period of American history: the rise of colonial opposition to Great Britain, the nature of the Revolutionary Wars, and the domestic "republican experiment" that followed the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The course emphasizes student interpretations with an eye toward analyzing the comparative experiences of women and men, "everyday people" and famous leaders, Native Americans, African-Americans, and those who opposed the Revolution.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jon Parmenter (jwp35)
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HIST 2749 Mughal India and the Early Modern World, c. 1500-1800

The largest of the three great Islamic empires of the early modern era, the Mughal empire at its height ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent, and more than 100 million subjects. This course offers a survey of the Mughal empire between c. 1500 and 1800, exploring how Mughal imperial culture reflected the cultural and religious diversity of India. We will consider how the rise and fall of the Mughals was connected to broader global transformations in early modern world, and how the rise of British power in India was shaped by the legacies of Mughal rule. Primary sources include court chronicles, biographies of emperors, as well as Mughal painting and architecture.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Thomas Travers (trt5)
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HIST 2792 Introduction to Public History

In this course we will examine how we have come to narrate social, cultural, and political history in the United States, investigating the ways scholarly, curatorial, archival, and creative practices shape conceptions of the American past, in particular understandings of racial, gender, sexual, and class oppression and resistance. Students will build skills in historical interpretation and archival research and explore possibilities and challenges in preserving and presenting the past in a variety of public contexts—monuments, memorials, museums, historical sites, movies and television, and community-based history projects. For their final project, students will conduct original research in a digital or material archive, chosen in consultation with the instructor, to produce a draft of an exhibit, providing popularly accessible historical context and interpretation.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Vider (sv484)
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HIST 2851 Sex and Power in Jewish History

Jewish men and women in early modern Europe lived their lives within a gendered social order inherited from the Talmudic period. The relationship between sex and power remained fundamental to Jewish communal discipline until the eighteenth century. The explosion of vernacular publishing, increasing economic and geographic mobility and the coming of emancipation challenged existing gender norms and liberated Jewish desire - well, almost. As we will see, modernity has an ambiguous effect on Jewish sexual expression and Jewish sexual politics. It is not clear that the emancipation of Jewish men had the same emancipatory effect on Jewish women. Jewish patriarchy proved unexpectedly resilient. In this course, we will explore why - despite Judaism's reputation for liberal attitudes to sex - neither most Jewish men nor many Jewish women embraced the possibilities of personal liberation from a reproductive regime of rigid self-control and near compulsory heterosexual monogamy.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Olga Litvak (ol76)
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HIST 2860 The French Revolution

In the turbulent and violent years from 1789 to 1815, France experienced virtually every form of government known to the modern world. This course explores the rapidly changing political landscape of this extraordinary period as well as the evolution of Revolutionary culture (the arts, theater, songs, fashion, the cult of the guillotine, attitudes towards gender and race). Whenever possible, we will use texts and images produced by the Revolutionaries themselves.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Paul Friedland (paf67)
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HIST 2920 Inventing an Information Society

Explores the history of information technology from the 1830s to the present by considering the technical and social history of telecommunications (telegraph and the telephone), radio, television, computers, and the Internet. Emphasis is on the changing relationship between science and technology, the economic aspects of innovation, gender and technology, and other social relations of this technology.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ron Kline (rrk1)
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HIST 2969 The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire

This course surveys the history of the world's first socialist society from its unlikely beginnings in 1917 to its unexpected demise in 1991. Traditional topics such as the origins of the revolutions of 1917, Stalin's Terror, WW II, Khrushchev's Thaw, etc., will be covered, but lectures will emphasize the interaction between the political, socio-economic, and especially the cultural spheres. A good deal of the materials we will study in this course will be drawn from the realm of literature, cinema, and art.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cristina Florea (cf476)
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HIST 3002 Supervised Research - Undergraduate

Independent Study based supervised research with a history faculty member.  Student must complete an on-line Independent Study form with a faculty supervisor to determine requirements and for permission.  Students then work with their faculty supervisor throughout the semester for successful completion and grading of the agreed upon requirements.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Edward Baptist (eeb36)
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HIST 3031 Race and Revolution in the Americas: 1776-1900

This course will examine the "age of democratic revolutions" in the Americas from the perspective of the Black Atlantic. During this momentous era, when European monarchies were successfully challenged and constitutional governments created, Blacks fomented their own American revolutions both in the outside of evolving "New World democracies." This course examines the black trajectory in British North America, Latin America, the French (especially Haiti,) the British and the Spanish Caribbean. The course begins with black participation in the U.S. independence War (1776-1781) and concludes with black (non-U.S.) participation in the independence wars against Spain. The course will also briefly address post-emancipation race relations in these American countries. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Margaret Washington (mw26)
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HIST 3312 What was the Vietnam War?

If you have ever wondered what the Vietnam War was all about, how did it begin, how was it fought, why was it so controversial, why did the American people turn against it, why was it important, why were generations of American students taught the North Vietnamese version of the war, why the South Vietnamese allies of the United States were abandoned, and what happened to the Vietnamese and the Americans as a result of the war—then this class is for you! With fresh eyes and surprising insights, it will take you beyond the fashionable fictions and clichés to look at the twenty-five years during which the United States, through six presidential administrations, was involved in Vietnamese affairs (1950-1975). For decades, Americans have been meditating on "the lessons of the Vietnam War," but it turns out that neither was any lesson ever learned nor were the so-called "lessons" even plausibly related to actual events. Today, Americans continue to be taught myths about the Vietnam War. This course shows why these myths obstruct a realistic understanding of American history during the past half-century.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Keith Taylor (kwt3)
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HIST 3430 History of the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction

A survey of the turning point of US. history: The Civil War (1861-1865) and its aftermath, Reconstruction (1865-1877). We will look at the causes, the coming, and the conduct, of the war, and the way in which it became a war for freedom. We will then follow the cause of freedom through the greatest slave rebellion in American history, and the attempts by formerly enslaved people to make freedom real in Reconstruction. And we will see how Reconstruction's tragic ending left questions open that are still not answered in U.S. society and politics.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Edward Baptist (eeb36)
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HIST 4000 Introduction to Historical Research

This seminar is an introduction to the theory, practice, and art of historical research and writing. One key purpose of this course is to prepare students to work on longer research projects—especially an Honors Thesis. We will analyze the relationship between evidence and argument in historical writing; assess the methods and possible biases in various examples of historical writing; identify debates and sources relevant to research problems; think about how to use sources creatively; and discuss the various methodological issues associated with historical inquiry, analysis, and presentation.  This course is required for all students wishing to write an Honors Thesis in their senior year.  It should be taken in either semester of the junior year, or in spring of the sophomore year if you are planning to be abroad in your junior year.  NOTE: you do NOT need to be enrolled in the Honors Program in order to sign up for this course.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Raymond Craib (rbc23)
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HIST 4001 Honors Guidance

This course provides structure for the student's research and introduces them to research techniques. Enrollment limited to students admitted to the History Department's Honors Program.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Aaron Sachs (as475)
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HIST 4085 Economic Globalization and Democratic Crisis, 1870-present

Our current age is not the first time in modern history that economic globalization is seen by many as a cause of democratic crisis. This course brings together the history of capitalism with the political history of democracy. Its first aim is to show how the ongoing material and technical integration of the globe is both an enabling condition of mass democracy and a constraint on it. The second goal is to show how empires, nation-states, and international institutions have managed the tension between global economic integration and local political autonomy in different ways. We will discuss a series of key moments in the history of global capitalism in relation to transformations and crises of democracy, beginning in the era of High Imperialism in the 1870s-1880s; then moving to the populism of the 1890s; the interwar crisis of democracy beginning with World War I in 1914 through to the Great Depression and World War II; the post-WWII years, ending in the stagflation and oil crises of the 1970s; and the last four decades of economic globalization, from the debt crisis of the 1980s to the shocks of the 1990s and 2000s which form the precursor to the current turmoil. A second line of inquiry is to get a better grip on the analytical traditions that have grappled with and responded to these recurring crises, from different Marxist approaches and world systems theory to Polanyian political economy, neoliberalism, new institutional economics, Keynesianism, macro-finance and Minsky, and a variety of sociological paradigms from Weber and Habermas to Wolfgang Streeck and Ulrich Beck.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicholas Mulder (njm226)
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HIST 4295 US Borders North and South

The borders that separate the United States from Canada and Mexico are among the longest in the world. The southern border with Mexico, however, receives a disproportionate amount of attention from policymakers, journalists, and artists, while our northern border is largely unfamiliar to most Americans. This upper-level seminar offers a necessary corrective: a comparative examination of the political, economic, and cultural history of these two North American borderlands. The US-Mexico and US-Canada border zones are sites of conflict and negotiation, nationalism and globalization, sovereignty and multiculturalism. The seminar examines the continuities and discontinuities in the history and evolution of America's territorial borders from the colonial era to the present.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maria Cristina Garcia (mcg20)
Jon Parmenter (jwp35)
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HIST 4641 Technologies of Power in Latin American Dirty Wars

This seminar explores Latin American political violence since the 1970s, focusing on the role technology played in internal conflicts called "Dirty Wars," in which the state employed extrajudicial violence to halt leftist or communist "subversion." These responses by police, military, and paramilitary groups left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead. Reports from large-scale investigations called truth commissions, first-person testimonies, fiction, and films underscore the employment of technology in these conflicts—electrical torture, the destruction of electrical towers, foreign-made weapons and vehicles, and seizures of media stations and newspapers. The seminar emphasizes the history of technology in human rights violations more broadly, from the 1994 Rwandan genocide to the United States' responses to extremism after 9/11. For longer description and instructor bio, visit societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Willie Hiatt (wlh57)
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HIST 4666 Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East

This reading seminar will explore the expansion and influence of mass media in the Middle East from the late nineteenth to the turn of the twenty-first century.  We will examine how the intersection of popular music, theater, poetry, film, and satellite television shaped culture, ideology, and identities in the modern Middle East.  Topics we will consider include contested media representations of "modernity," gender, and evolving cultural, religious, national, and transnational identities.  Although this seminar focuses upon the Middle East, it aims to locate the region within a larger global context.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
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HIST 4751 Science, Race, and Colonialism

This course is divided into three major thematic sections. The first looks at the history of racial thinking in the West. We begin with the existence (or not) of conceptions of biological race in the early- modern period, focusing on early voyages of discovery and so-called "first encounters" between the peoples of the Old and New Worlds.  In the second part of the course we will look at early enunciations of racial thought in the late 18th century and at the problems of classification that these raised, before examining the roots of "Scientific Racism." We close with a look at Darwin, Social Darwinism, and eugenics movements in different national contexts.  The last third of the course looks at science and technology in colonial contexts, including "colonial technologies" (guns, steam- ships, and telegraphs) as well as medicine and public hygiene.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Suman Seth (ss536)
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HIST 4945 The Birth of the Prison in Eighteenth Century Europe and America

In medieval and renaissance Europe, criminals were fined, branded, or executed; after the 18th century, more of them went to jail. For some observers, the birth of the prison was a triumph of humanitarian compassion. For others, they marked an ominous new form of social control.  In this course look at why and how prisons emerged during the 18th and early 19th centuries in Europe and America.  What were prisons like, how did newfangled  "Enlightenment" ideas about punishment and poverty affect penal reformers, how did the new prisons compare to other institutions of confinement (plague hospitals, mental asylums, bridewells), and how did prisoners exercise agency?

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Weil (rjw5)
Full details for HIST 4945 : The Birth of the Prison in Eighteenth Century Europe and America
HIST 6006 History Colloquium Series
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Raymond Craib (rbc23)
Full details for HIST 6006 : History Colloquium Series
HIST 6065 Science, Technology and Capitalism

This course examines the relationship between scientific development, technological innovation and maintenance, and the capitalistic forces that support and benefit from these activities.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Ratcliff (jrr47)
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HIST 6085 Economic Globalization and Democratic Crisis, 1870-present

Our current age is not the first time in modern history that economic globalization is seen by many as a cause of democratic crisis. This course brings together the history of capitalism with the political history of democracy. Its first aim is to show how the ongoing material and technical integration of the globe is both an enabling condition of mass democracy and a constraint on it. The second goal is to show how empires, nation-states, and international institutions have managed the tension between global economic integration and local political autonomy in different ways. We will discuss a series of key moments in the history of global capitalism in relation to transformations and crises of democracy, beginning in the era of High Imperialism in the 1870s-1880s; then moving to the populism of the 1890s; the interwar crisis of democracy beginning with World War I in 1914 through to the Great Depression and World War II; the post-WWII years, ending in the stagflation and oil crises of the 1970s; and the last four decades of economic globalization, from the debt crisis of the 1980s to the shocks of the 1990s and 2000s which form the precursor to the current turmoil. A second line of inquiry is to get a better grip on the analytical traditions that have grappled with and responded to these recurring crises, from different Marxist approaches and world systems theory to Polanyian political economy, neoliberalism, new institutional economics, Keynesianism, macro-finance and Minsky, and a variety of sociological paradigms from Weber and Habermas to Wolfgang Streeck and Ulrich Beck.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Nicholas Mulder (njm226)
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HIST 6131 A Greater Caribbean: New Approaches to Caribbean History
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Ernesto Bassi Arevalo (eb577)
Full details for HIST 6131 : A Greater Caribbean: New Approaches to Caribbean History
HIST 6202 Political Culture

This course will explore the relationship between popular belief, political action, and the institutional deployment of social power. The class will be roughly divided in three parts, opening with a discussion of how the material world influences the culture of a society. The middle section will connect culture to political ideology, including symbolism and the construction of group identity. The last part of the course will consider ways in which cultural symbols and ideology can be manipulated in order to legitimate government authority. We will then, coming full circle, trace how political regimes can influence the social practices from which culture originates.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Richard Bensel (rfb2)
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HIST 6221 Environmental History

This graduate seminar offers an introduction to environmental history—the study of human interactions with nonhuman nature in the past. It is a subfield within the historical discipline that has complex roots, an interdisciplinary orientation, and synergies with fields across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. This seminar explores environmental history on three levels: historically, historiographically, and theoretically. What are some of the key historical processes that have shaped humans' historical relationships with the environment at various scales? How have environmental historians (re)conceptualized the field as it has developed over the past half-century? What analytic concepts have environmental historians used to understand human-natural relations? Select themes include ecological imperialism, labor and work, body/environment, global environmental history, "mainstreaming" environmental history, and the Anthropocene.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Aaron Sachs (as475)
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HIST 6295 US Borders North and South

The borders that separate the United States from Canada and Mexico are among the longest in the world. The southern border with Mexico, however, receives a disproportionate amount of attention from policymakers, journalists, and artists, while our northern border is largely unfamiliar to most Americans.  This upper-level seminar offers a necessary corrective:  a comparative examination of the political, economic, and cultural history of these two North American borderlands. The US-Mexico and US-Canada border zones are sites of conflict and negotiation, nationalism and globalization, sovereignty and multiculturalism.  The seminar examines the continuities and discontinuities in the history and evolution of America's territorial borders from the colonial era to the present.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Maria Cristina Garcia (mcg20)
Jon Parmenter (jwp35)
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HIST 6617 Seminar in Asian Literature and History

This course offers graduate students an opportunity to consider ways for analyzing texts from Asia, both modern and pre-modern, both literary and historiographical. The emphasis will be on how narratives are constructed, how the form and content of narratives are related, and how narratives express unstated or hidden authorial intentions. Students will read books and essays on theories of narrative, translation, and ideological analysis. Students will discuss these readings and write essays about them. And students will write a research term paper based on study of a selected Asian text in its original Asian language.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Keith Taylor (kwt3)
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HIST 6641 Technologies of Power in Latin American Dirty Wars

This seminar explores Latin American political violence since the 1970s, focusing on the role technology played in internal conflicts called "Dirty Wars," in which the state employed extrajudicial violence to halt leftist or communist "subversion." These responses by police, military, and paramilitary groups left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead. Reports from large-scale investigations called truth commissions, first-person testimonies, fiction, and films underscore the employment of technology in these conflicts—electrical torture, the destruction of electrical towers, foreign-made weapons and vehicles, and seizures of media stations and newspapers. The seminar emphasizes the history of technology in human rights violations more broadly, from the 1994 Rwandan genocide to the United States' responses to extremism after 9/11. For longer description and instructor bio, visit societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/courses.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Willie Hiatt (wlh57)
Full details for HIST 6641 : Technologies of Power in Latin American Dirty Wars
HIST 6666 Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East

This reading seminar will explore the expansion and influence of mass media in the Middle East from the late nineteenth to the turn of the twenty-first century.  We will examine how the intersection of popular music, theater, poetry, film, and satellite television shaped culture, ideology, and identities in the modern Middle East.  Topics we will consider include contested media representations of "modernity," gender, and evolving cultural, religious, national, and transnational identities.  Although this seminar focuses upon the Middle East, it aims to locate the region within a larger global context.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for HIST 6666 : Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East
HIST 6945 The Birth of the Prison in Eighteenth Century Europe and America

In medieval and renaissance Europe, criminals were fined, branded, or executed; after the 18th century, more of them went to jail. For some observers, the birth of the prison was a triumph of humanitarian compassion. For others, they marked an ominous new form of social control.  In this course look at why and how prisons emerged during the 18th and early 19th centuries in Europe and America.  What were prisons like, how did newfangled  "Enlightenment" ideas about punishment and poverty affect penal reformers, how did the new prisons compare to other institutions of confinement (plague hospitals, mental asylums, bridewells), and how did prisoners exercise agency?

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rachel Weil (rjw5)
Full details for HIST 6945 : The Birth of the Prison in Eighteenth Century Europe and America
HIST 7090 Introduction to the Graduate Study of History

This course is designed to introduce entering graduate students to crucial issues and problems in historical methodology that cut across various areas of specialization.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Paul Friedland (paf67)
Lawrence Glickman (lbg49)
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HIST 7110 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

Provides students with a foundation in the field of science and technology studies. Using classic works as well as contemporary exemplars, seminar participants chart the terrain of this new field. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to, historiography of science and technology and their relation to social studies of science and technology, laboratory studies, intellectual property, science and the state, the role of instruments, fieldwork, politics and technical knowledge, philosophy of science, sociological studies of science and technology, and popularization.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Ratcliff (jrr47)
Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
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HIST 7937 Proseminar in Peace Studies

The Proseminar in Peace Studies offers a multidisciplinary review of issues related to peace and conflict at the graduate level. The course is led by the director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and is based on the Institute's weekly seminar series, featuring outside visitors and Cornell faculty. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
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HIST 8004 Supervised Reading

Independent Study based supervised reading with a history faculty/field member.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Edward Baptist (eeb36)
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HIST 8010 Independent Study-PIRIP
Academic Career: GR Instructor: Claudia Verhoeven (cv89)
Full details for HIST 8010 : Independent Study-PIRIP