Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Fall 2024

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
HIST1180 FWS: Viking America
Five centuries before Columbus'​s fateful journey, Europeans in flimsy wooden ships were trekking westward across the Atlantic.​ This course examines the Norse discovery of America ca. 1000 AD, focusing on the so-called 'Vínland sagas.' We will study these sagas as medieval historians' attempts to write about their own past, contrasting their works with modern historians' takes on the same issues. We will also engage with Native American perspectives, with the contact zone between texts and material evidence, and with the afterlife of the Norse journeys in popular imagination. Students will write short essays reviewing and reassessing existing historiography, with the aim of refining our sense of the relationship between events and their textualisation, both now and in the past.

Full details for HIST 1180 - FWS: Viking America

Fall.
HIST1200 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.

Full details for HIST 1200 - FWS: Writing History

Fall, Spring.
HIST1321 FWS: Post-World War II America: Crisis and Continuity
Why are the years following World War II considered so remarkable in the landscape of American history? Several critical events and debates that rocked the nation from the 1940s onward reverberate today, such as involvement in wars, civil rights, women's rights, concerns about teenagers, and crises in American cities. Enriched by a variety of primary sources, including films and TV shows, this course analyzes the central events, people, and forces that transformed American society and culture from the years after World War II to the present. The course aims to help students learn how to write persuasively about scholarship and primary sources, while gaining a deeper appreciation for the lasting influence of the major events, crises, and interpretations of post-World War II American history.

Full details for HIST 1321 - FWS: Post-World War II America: Crisis and Continuity

Fall.
HIST1411 FWS: Facts, Frauds, and Rumors: (Un)Truth in Western History
Societies reveal much about themselves in how they define and distinguish truth and untruth. This course examines the history of facts, frauds, and gossip in the West, from the late medieval period to present. We will focus on five historical episodes in the making and unmaking of truth: the medieval inquisition; the first early modern scientific laboratories; the "Feejee Mermaid" and other playful frauds of P.T. Barnum's American Museum; early 20th-century newsrooms, advertising and propaganda agencies; and the 21st-century Internet. We will write, workshop, and revise reflective, comparative, and persuasive essays on these episodes, while gaining a better understanding of how such modern concepts as objectivity, reliability, and deception have developed.

Full details for HIST 1411 - FWS: Facts, Frauds, and Rumors: (Un)Truth in Western History

Fall.
HIST1425 FWS: Writing Historical Graphic Novels
In this course we will learn how to create our own short historical graphic novel based on a primary source (or a series of primary sources) from the Cornell Archives. The goal of this project is to learn how to find primary sources, to transform them into a historical narrative, and to communicate this narrative in an engaging manner—the primary work of historians. The first half of the semester will be dedicating to reading graphic novels and meeting with their creators to talk about the process. In the second part of the semester, we will be working closely with the staff at the Olin Library's Rare and Manuscript Collections to identify a primary source, craft a narrative, and give it an artistic form.

Full details for HIST 1425 - FWS: Writing Historical Graphic Novels

Fall.
HIST1571 American Defense Policy and Military History from the Two World Wars to the Global War on Terror
America is finishing up two wars, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. They have been the longest wars in American history and have ended amid much ambivalence about the US engagement in each place and the results. They are part of a series of wars that America has fought as a global power, with a global reach, sending its forces thousands of miles from home. That global reach is not new, and goes back all the way to 1898 and the Spanish-American War. This course will look at the American military experience from our first tentative steps onto the global stage in 1898, to the earth-spanning conflicts of World War I and II, to the nuclear tension of Cold War conflicts, and finish with the current Long War against terrorism, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Full details for HIST 1571 - American Defense Policy and Military History from the Two World Wars to the Global War on Terror

Fall, Spring, Summer.
HIST1576 War in U.S. History: From the Frontier to the Wars on Terror
Is war a "way of life" for Americans, as some historians have suggested? In recent years, many Americans have come to think about war as something that happens "over there", away from our own shores, but war – the act of fighting itself, as well as the political, economic and social demands of mobilisation, and the foreign and domestic consequences of military violence – has shaped the United States in countless ways. This course explores both the shadow of war – the seen and unseen effects it has on people and societies – and the substance – the wars themselves – to explore America's relationships with the rest of the world, from the revolutionary period to the present day. At the same time, we we'll also examine non-military and quasi-military encounters between Americans and peoples abroad, including tourism, romantic entanglements, business relationships, and religious proselytising, asking "what is war?", and even whether the United States has ever been at peace. Through this multi-layered focus we will discover some of the many ways in which Americans have thought about, engaged with, impacted, and been impacted by, the world beyond the country's borders, and the extent to which war and violence have played a prominent role in those interactions.

Full details for HIST 1576 - War in U.S. History: From the Frontier to the Wars on Terror

Fall.
HIST1590 History and Popular Culture in Africa
This course uses a multidisciplinary approach to explore the complex relationship between history and popular culture in Africa. The course considers two main questions - How can you write history using popular culture? And how do artists use history to create popular culture? It uses examples from around the continent to explore old and new forms of popular culture; forms of cultural expression used by historians; as well as the ways in which artists use moments of great historical significance or key historical actors in their works. We consider, for example, the work of Leroy Vail who used songs by Mozambican peasants to write a social history of colonialism as well as films about colonialism by African film-makers such as the late Ousman Sembene.

Full details for HIST 1590 - History and Popular Culture in Africa

Fall.
HIST1600 History of Law: Great Trials
Through discussion of a variety of high-profile and lesser-known trials throughout history, this course will examine a range of issues in the history of law and criminality. We will study the relationship between ideology and law in different societies, the politics of trials, the theory and practice of punishment, and the relationship of trials to terror(ism) and social marginalization. Cases to be covered include: Socrates, Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, the French Revolutionary Terror, the Russian revolutionary terrorists, the Dreyfus Affair, the Stalinist show trials, Charles Manson, OJ Simpson, and Pussy Riot.

Full details for HIST 1600 - History of Law: Great Trials

Fall.
HIST1621 From Samurai to Superpower: Japan in World History I
How did Japan evolve from samurai to superpower?   We investigate this transformation in Japanese and world history over a two-semester sequence.  Students are free to enroll in either semester independently.  (All are welcome, but none required, to enroll in both semesters.)  We begin in early Japan: the birthplace of the sun goddess Amaterasu, the imperial court devoted to her, and the samurai who rose to rule under her sway.  Early Japan was also home to con-men and courtesans, mischievous gods and warring Buddhists, the world's first (and female!) novelist, and a surprisingly cosmopolitan culture of artists and scientists, comedians and entrepreneurs, human traffickers and international travelers.  Our first semester exploring this eclectic culture culminates in the early modern era (1600–1868), when under samurai rule, Japan developed many "modern" elements that laid the groundwork for the revolutionary changes and superpower status examined in the second semester.  We chart Japan's development not only through big events but also everyday life, delving into gender and sexuality, family and labor, arts and entertainment, and more.

Full details for HIST 1621 - From Samurai to Superpower: Japan in World History I

Fall.
HIST1770 U.S. History through Literature
This lecture course combines historical and literary approaches to explore the inner life of Americans over the last two hundred years. No prior knowledge of US history is assumed. We'll examine the ways in which historical context can shape literary works and the ways in which literature, in turn, can shape history.  How have Americans imagined themselves and their nation?  Has there ever been a stable American identity? The focus will be on literary works that pose questions about race, gender, individualism, and belonging, allowing us to see how writers have both reinforced and resisted cultural pressures.  My hope is that tracing US history through works of the imagination will help in the collective (and perpetual) effort to reimagine American life.

Full details for HIST 1770 - U.S. History through Literature

Fall.
HIST1950 The Invention of the Americas
When did the 'Americas' come in to being?  Who created 'them' and how? What other geographic units of analysis might we consider in thinking about what Iberian explorers and intellectuals initially called the 'fourth part' of the world?  Given the scope and extent of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, could 'the Americas' extend from the Caribbean to the Philippines?  This course takes up such questions as a means to explore the history of what would become-only in the nineteenth century-'Latin America.' We move from the initial "encounters" of peoples from Africa and Iberia with the "New World," the creation of long-distance trade with, and settlement in, Asia, and the establishment of colonial societies, through to the movements for independence in most of mainland Spanish America in the early 19th century and to the collapse of Spanish rule in the Pacific and Caribbean later that century. Through lectures, discussions and the reading of primary sources and secondary texts, the course examines the economic and social organization of the colonies, intellectual currents and colonial science, native accommodation and resistance to colonial rule, trade networks and imperial expansion, labor regimes and forms of economic production, and migration and movement.

Full details for HIST 1950 - The Invention of the Americas

Spring.
HIST1951 Foreign Policy as Subversion
To what extent does the ideal of the US as a vanguard for democracy and freedom in the world match up with other aspects—military, economic, and humanitarian—of US foreign policy? This same question about the degree to which discourses and practices correspond might be asked of other countries, like the Soviet Union, China, and Britain, but this course examines the ways in which US foreign policy has been deployed over the course of the twentieth century and the ways those policies have been perceived and received by people living in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Particular case studies will be addressed stemming from the faculty's specializations (for example, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Chile) and the emphasis is on the role of the United States in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Prominent themes will include forms of subversion, from military muscle to economic coercion, and how and why they have changed over time; meanings of liberty, democracy, freedom, and sovereignty in different places and times; popular responses to policies and actions of foreign administrations; the relationships between sovereign states and transnational corporations; the uses and abuses of History in the formulation and justification of policy initiatives and in local responses to them; and the complexities involved in discerning internal and external forces in an increasingly transnational world.

Full details for HIST 1951 - Foreign Policy as Subversion

Fall.
HIST1985 American History from 1500 to 1800
On the eve of the American Revolution Britain administered 26 colonies—not just the 13 that would become the United States. British North America's dramatic struggle for independence has led many history textbooks to read the revolution back into colonial history, focusing on those 13 North American colonies that would become the United States, often at the expense of global connections that defined the colonial and revolutionary periods. As this class will explore, key elements of early American history can only be understood through a broader perspective, from the economic growth of New England as a result of the African slave trade and exchange in the Caribbean, to the use of citizenship as a category of exclusion in response to the myriad inhabitants—European, Indigenous, and African—who neighbored or lived within the original 13 colonies. In this course, we will explore the history of early America from the 1490s through the 1800s from a global perspective. Voices usually peripheral to the narrative of American development, from enslaved African mariners to Spanish American nuns, will become central to processes of cultural encounter, labor exploitation, revolutionary upheavals, and state formation that shaped the making and unmaking early America.

Full details for HIST 1985 - American History from 1500 to 1800

Fall.
HIST2001 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.

Full details for HIST 2001 - Supervised Reading - Undergraduate

Fall, Spring.
HIST2055 Race and Slavery in the Early Atlantic World
The legacies of slavery remain all too obvious in the modern Atlantic World. From demographic imbalances to pervasive social and economic inequality, much of the recent past has involved addressing that destructive early modern heritage. This course traces the roots of slavery and race in the Atlantic World from 1400 to 1800. Through lectures, readings, and class discussion, we will examine how politics, culture, gender, and the law intersected to shape the institution of slavery and the development of conceptions of race. As an Atlantic World course, we will take a comparative perspective and ask how different imperial regimes (Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English) fostered different systems of race and slavery in the Americas. We will also ask how the law as a lived experience, gender norms, and imperial politics all worked to shape the production of racial hierarchies.

Full details for HIST 2055 - Race and Slavery in the Early Atlantic World

Fall.
HIST2083 A Land to Call Our Own: De-Colonizing Medieval Europe
Colonial projects have a bad reputation; no one in their right mind would choose to identify as a colonizer, much less a colonialist. This was not always the case. In the 1800s, colonialism was the height of civilized accomplishment; everyone wanted in on it. In this course, we shift our gaze farther back in time to examine the thoughts and practices of people in medieval Europe. We delve into questions of function and type (is there a difference between colonization and colonialism?), of perspective and bias (does it matter how recent a colony is?), of social, cultural, regional, and temporal variation. By highlighting the non-self-evidence of truths we hold, the medieval past can help us appreciate why we cherish them nonetheless – or prompt us to re-evaluate them.

Full details for HIST 2083 - A Land to Call Our Own: De-Colonizing Medieval Europe

Fall.
HIST2151 War in Experience and Expression: Origins of Modern War-Writing, 1500-1900
This seminar treats the tension between the compelling moral, historical and psychological imperatives to represent armed conflict and the rhetorical difficulties attendant on doing so. Through critical and contextual analysis of texts situated within the modern European tradition of war-writing, students will examine the motives which make the accurate rendering of war both necessary and impossible: to impose order and meaning on the chaos of violence, to commemorate the victims without inducing guilt in the survivors, to celebrate individual acts of heroism while promoting collective peace, but above all to bring to bear the resources of linguistic expression on an experience of extremity which ultimately resists discursive mediation and, despite its ubiquity in human history, subverts our conception of the ordinary and challenges established analytic taxonomies.

Full details for HIST 2151 - War in Experience and Expression: Origins of Modern War-Writing, 1500-1900

Fall.
HIST2207 East Asian Medical and Martial Arts
East Asian medicinal and martial arts, whether practiced in East Asia or in other parts of the world, have been important points of contact for people within and between often marginalized communities. In this course we will study the twentieth century development of East Asian combat and healing traditions, and the transport of those disciplines to the U.S. We will examine the personal, community, national, and global stakes of East Asian arts for those who invest in suppressing, teaching, and practicing them. We will consider how East Asian martial and medical practices relate, for example, to global and local histories of orientalism, colonialism, migration, and racism, and to historical post-colonial, anti-racist, feminist, and LGBTQ movements. Over the course of the semester, we will research martial and medical arts as they have been practiced in Ithaca, and place these local histories into their broader historical contexts.

Full details for HIST 2207 - East Asian Medical and Martial Arts

Fall.
HIST2253 Diasporas from the Spanish Caribbean
This seminar examines the Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican diasporas in the United States. We will examine US relations with these three countries; the root causes of this Caribbean migration; their history in particular urban areas of the United States; and the political, social, and cultural issues that have attracted attention.

Full details for HIST 2253 - Diasporas from the Spanish Caribbean

Fall.
HIST2354 African American Visions of Africa
This seminar examines some of the political and cultural visions of Africa and Africans held by African-American intellectuals and activists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Emphasis is placed on the philosophies of black nationalism, Pan Africanism and anticolonialism and the themes of emigration, expatriation, repatriation and exile. Awareness of Africa and attitudes toward the continent and its peoples have profoundly shaped African-American identity, culture and political consciousness. Notions of a linked fate between Africans and black Americans have long influenced black life and liberation struggles within the U.S. The motives, purposes and outlooks of African-American theorists who have claimed political, cultural, or spiritual connection to Africa and Africans have varied widely, though they have always powerfully reflected black experiences in America and in the West. The complexity and dynamism of those views belie simplistic assumptions about essential or "natural" relationships, and invite critical contemplation of the myriad roles that Africa has played in the African-American mind."

Full details for HIST 2354 - African American Visions of Africa

Fall.
HIST2371 US Climate Catastrophes: Rethinking US History through the Climate
How does our understanding of the current climate emergency change when we examine the past with an environmental lens? In this course, we will think of US history through climate catastrophes, human-made and naturally occurring, to consider how humans and the environment have interacted with each other over time and to reconsider how that relationship has changed within a US context. Rather than focus on the traditional turning points of the US, such as wars or presidents, we will look at the California Gold Rush, the use of DDT, the building of the Oahe Dam, the Love Canal, and 21st-century hurricanes.

Full details for HIST 2371 - US Climate Catastrophes: Rethinking US History through the Climate

Fall.
HIST2391 From Terra Incognita to Territories of Nation-States: Early American History in Two Dozen Maps
This course engages the rich cartographic record of colonial North America via an in-depth analysis of two dozen iconic maps. Integrating visual and textual analysis, students will assess human representations of space across cultural boundaries, explore change over time in the mapmaking practices of indigenous peoples and various European intruders, and study the evolving relationship between cartography and power, attending particularly to the process by which mapping promoted a revolutionary new understanding of American geography as composed of the bounded territories of nation-states.

Full details for HIST 2391 - From Terra Incognita to Territories of Nation-States: Early American History in Two Dozen Maps

Fall.
HIST2452 Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora
This course uses a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the importance of textiles in African social and economic history. It combines art history, anthropology, social and economic history to explore the role of textiles in marking status, gender, political authority and ethnicity. In addition, we examine the production and distribution of indigenous cloth and the consequences of colonial rule on African textile industries. Our analysis also considers the principles of African dress and clothing that shaped the African diaspora in the Americas as well as the more recent popularity and use of African fabrics and dress in the United States.

Full details for HIST 2452 - Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora

Fall.
HIST2548 Buddhists in the Indian Ocean Arena: Past and Present
For millennia, Buddhist monks, merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, and adventurers have moved around the Indian Ocean arena circulating Buddhist teachings and powerful objects. In doing so they helped create Buddhist communities in the places we now refer to as southern China, India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. The course explores these circulatory histories by focusing on case studies in each of four historical periods: premodern (esp. early second millennium A.D.); the era of 19th-century colonial projects; mid-20th-century nation-state formation in South and Southeast Asia; and contemporary (early 21st century) times. Drawing together materials from Indian Ocean studies, Buddhist studies, and critical studies of colonialism, modernity, and nation-state formation, this course attends to the ways in which changing trans-regional conditions shape local Buddhisms, how Buddhist collectives around the Indian Ocean arena shape one another, and how trade, religion, and politics interact.

Full details for HIST 2548 - Buddhists in the Indian Ocean Arena: Past and Present

Fall.
HIST2562 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. Inquries 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.

Full details for HIST 2562 - Medicine and Healing in China

Fall.
HIST2627 Introduction to Islam
This course is an introduction to the study of Islam and Islamic history. Organised historically, the lecture series will begin with the career of the Prophet Muhammad, before charting the course of the Islamic Conquests, the establishment, zenith and collapse of various Islamic Empires, ending with European colonialism. Along the way, this geopolitical and historical overview will provide a backdrop to our exploration of changes and developments in Islamic thought and practice. In particular, we will focus on the emergence of the Sunni-Shi'i conflict, the rise of Sufism and Salafism, as well as how scholars across time and space thought and wrote about questions of ideal Islamic governance, the religious authority of the caliph, women's role in society and public space, slavery, the ethics of living under non-Muslim rule and the place of non-Muslims in Islamic society.

Full details for HIST 2627 - Introduction to Islam

Fall.
HIST2631 The Global History of Time
We often define history as change over time, while overlooking that our ways of measuring, thinking about, and using time are themselves an important part of history. This lecture course examines that history on a global scale. Why have societies around the world spent so much effort over the centuries in studying, philosophizing, and inventing stories about time? How have clocks, calendars, and other timekeepers evolved? How have those devices helped re-organize society, industry, and science? Drawing on case studies from every continent, this course will familiarize students with the technological, political, social, and cultural histories of time, while developing their skills in analyzing primary sources such as art works, films, and literary texts.

Full details for HIST 2631 - The Global History of Time

Fall.
HIST2640 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.

Full details for HIST 2640 - Introduction to Asian American History

Fall.
HIST2655 American Political Thought
This course offers a survey of American political thought from the colonial period to the present. We will read Puritan sermons, revolutionary pamphlets, philosophical treatises, presidential orations, slave narratives, prison writings, and other classic texts, in order to understand the ideas and debates that have shaped American politics. Topics to be discussed will include the meaning of freedom, the relationship between natural rights and constitutional authority, the idea of popular sovereignty, theories of representation and state power, race and national identity, problems of inequality, and the place of religion in public life. Lectures will be organized around both historical context and close reading of primary texts.

Full details for HIST 2655 - American Political Thought

Fall.
HIST2665 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.

Full details for HIST 2665 - The American Revolutionary Era

Fall.
HIST2674 History of the Modern Middle East
This course examines major trends in the evolution of the Middle East in the modern era. Focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries and ending with the "Arab Spring," we will consider Middle East history with an emphasis on five themes: imperialism, nationalism, modernization, Islam, and revolution. Readings will be supplemented with translated primary sources, which will form the backbone of class discussions.

Full details for HIST 2674 - History of the Modern Middle East

Fall.
HIST2680 Sex, Drugs, and Experimenting with Democracy in 1960s and 1970s America
Roots of the United States' most vexing problems can be traced to the 1960s and 1970s. This class explores the struggles to explain these turbulent decades in both popular memory and historical scholarship and the consequences of our interpretations for understanding today. Students will use movies and oral history to investigate the role of perspective, framing, and agency in historical analysis. We will examine the era's struggles over issues such as racial hierarchy, gender roles, abortion, climate change, economic inequality, war, drugs, crime, and democracy.

Full details for HIST 2680 - Sex, Drugs, and Experimenting with Democracy in 1960s and 1970s America

Fall.
HIST2710 Introduction to the History of Medicine
This course offers an introductory survey of the history of medicine (principally in Europe and the United States) from classical antiquity to the early twentieth century. Using a combination of both primary and secondary sources, students will learn about the "Hippocratic Heritage" of contemporary western medicine; medicine in late antiquity; faith and healing in the medieval period; medicine and knowledge in the Islamic world; medicine during the Renaissance (particularly the rise of the mechanical philosophy); medicine in the age of Enlightenment; professionalization, women-doctors and midwives, and battles over 'quackery' in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the role of medicine in colonialism and empire; and the promises and perils of modern medicine (dramatic decreases in mortality on the one hand, the rise of Eugenics and the importance of Medicine to the National Socialist State on the other). As well as this temporal survey, we will consider a number of ongoing themes: race, bodily difference, and medicine; medicine and the environment; women, gender, and medicine; the history of the body; the history of sexuality; and the close connections between forms of social order and forms of medical knowledge. The course meets three times a week (for two lectures and a section) and is open to all.

Full details for HIST 2710 - Introduction to the History of Medicine

Fall.
HIST2792 Monuments, Museums, and Memory: An 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.

Full details for HIST 2792 - Monuments, Museums, and Memory: An Introduction to Public History

Fall.
HIST2852 Judaism and the Origins of Christianity
Most people think of Christianity as the "daughter religion" of Judaism. In this course, we will see that what we now know as Judaism and Christianity both claimed ownership of the same textual tradition and emerged together from the same set of historical circumstances, shaped by political crisis, a radical transformation of the social order and the challenge of Graeco-Roman culture. Through close reading of the principal sources of Christian literature, such as Paul's letters to the first communities of gentile "believers" and the accounts of the life and death of the messiah, known collectively as the gospels, we will explore how and why the followers of Jesus first came to think of themselves as the "New Israel" and how a polemical engagement with their controversial interpretation of Hebrew prophecy shaped the development of the rabbinic movement in Roman Palestine.

Full details for HIST 2852 - Judaism and the Origins of Christianity

Fall.
HIST2955 Socialism in America
"Why no socialism in America?" Scholars and activists have long pondered the relative dearth (compared to other industrialized societies) of sustained, popular, anticapitalist activity in the United States. Sure, leftist movements in the U.S. have often looked and operated differently than those in other parts of the world. But many Americans have forged creative and vibrant traditions of anticapitalism under very difficult circumstances. This class examines socialist thought and practice in the U.S. from the 19th century to the present. We trace intersections of race, class, and gender while exploring the freedom dreams of those who have opposed capitalism in the very heart of global power.

Full details for HIST 2955 - Socialism in America

Fall.
HIST2969 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.

Full details for HIST 2969 - The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire

Fall.
HIST2996 Korea and East Asia
This course reexamines Korea's place in East Asia by studying transnational cultural and intellectual interactions that Korea has had with China and Japan. The course is divided into three parts. First, it examines Korea's centuries-long participation in the China-centered East Asian world order and its exit from that world order around the turn of the twentieth century. Second, it turns to Japan's emergence as an expansionist power in East Asia, replacing China's long-term hegemony in the region, and the diverse ways Koreans and other East Asians, including the Japanese, coped with the Japan-centered new formation of the East Asian world order in the first half of the twentieth century. Third, the course moves to contemporary Korea and investigates the impact of the so-called Korean Wave (the global popularity of Korean popular culture) on Japanese society and Korea-Japan relations, giving students a chance to think deeply about the effects of Japanese colonialism on contemporary Korea-Japan relations and the possible role of culture in smoothing over ongoing political and diplomatic tensions between the two neighboring countries.

Full details for HIST 2996 - Korea and East Asia

Fall.
HIST3002 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.

Full details for HIST 3002 - Supervised Research - Undergraduate

Fall, Spring.
HIST3012 Remembering Socialism: Literature and Film After the End of History
More than thirty years after the end of the Soviet Union, we have the distance needed to view the twentieth-century state socialist project from a historical perspective–even as Cold War tropes are revived amid another major confrontation with Russia. In this course, we will analyze memoirs, oral histories, historical fiction, films, and TV shows that look back at this period. How do the makers of these works use genre as a political as well as artistic tool? What are the political implications of comedy, cosplay, or melodrama when applied to communism? How does the portrayal of this period change as state socialism recedes into the distance? Texts from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, the Balkans, the UK, and the United States.

Full details for HIST 3012 - Remembering Socialism: Literature and Film After the End of History

Fall.
HIST3391 Seminar on American Relations with China
A historical review of the fragile and volatile U.S.-China relationship from the opening by Richard Nixon in the early 1970s until the present. Several individual sessions will be led by current or former executive branch or congressional officials, business people, journalists, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and others who have worked in China or have participated in the making of U.S. policy toward China.

Full details for HIST 3391 - Seminar on American Relations with China

Fall.
HIST3436 History of the Cops: Racialized Policing in the US
The course will study the history of policing and race in the US. Beginning with the origins of American policing in a settler-colonial society, it will study the way whiteness emerged as an identity that depended on the control of both Indigenous and Black people. We will discuss the role of policing in national identity, the defense of slavery, American empire, the rise of urban industrialization, the emergence of professionalized policing, the control of immigrants, and the undermining of Reconstruction. The emergence of twentieth-century America, the identification of crime as a key political and the further development of racialized policing as a core fiscal and ideological project of the American state will be the main focus of the second half of the course. The course will also cover organization against racialized policing in particular as a major political project, source of identity, and root of both solidarity and estrangement between Black and other working class Americans.

Full details for HIST 3436 - History of the Cops: Racialized Policing in the US

Fall.
HIST3653 International Development in African History
This lecture course examines the history of the idea and practice of development in twentieth century Africa. Since the 1990s, the US, with some input from other western nations, has had relative hegemony in defining "international development." But this state of affairs was not inevitable – in the 1950s-1970s, decolonizing African nations hosted major debates on how to develop an independent, post-colonial system. Development theorists, academics, and freedom fighters traversed the continent and congregated in intellectual hubs, especially in Tanzania, but also in Nigeria, Mozambique, Senegal, Zambia, and elsewhere, to plan and implement a new world order. This course will combine intellectual and social history: we will explore theories of development, and situate them in their vibrant context.

Full details for HIST 3653 - International Development in African History

Fall.
HIST3770 Latinos and the United States, 1492-1880
In this course, we will answer two major questions: What is Latino history? And how should we write Latino History? We will explore these questions without attempting to cover all of Latino history before 1800. We will focus on a variety of experiences to better understand how differences in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and class have shaped Latino communities over time. We will read academic journal articles and books (secondary sources) and documents from the past, such as diaries, letters, court records, and maps (primary sources). Throughout the semester we will be working in groups toward creating a final project: a Latino history website.

Full details for HIST 3770 - Latinos and the United States, 1492-1880

Fall.
HIST4000 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.

Full details for HIST 4000 - Introduction to Historical Research

Fall, Spring.
HIST4001 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.

Full details for HIST 4001 - Honors Guidance

Fall.
HIST4168 Race and Asia in World History
This course explores the development of the concept of "race" as applied by and to Asian populations and societies. We also examine the idea of "Asia" and its others in global discourse, including through lenses such as Orientalism, Occidentalism, Pan-Asianism, and Afro-Asianism. Our focus is on the history of East Asia and trans-Pacific entanglements with Western empires from the early modern era to the present. A major theme is race science, or the scientific investigation and construction of "race," as it was practiced on and by East Asian peoples. We also explore intersections of "race" with nationalism, imperialism, warfare, law and citizenship, and sex and the family.

Full details for HIST 4168 - Race and Asia in World History

Fall.
HIST4196 From the Bible to the Museum: Jewish Memory and Public History
How has the remembrance of the past shaped the evolution of Jewish religion, identity, and culture from Biblical times to the present? How have the creation, dissemination, and preservation of Jewish memory changed over time? How is Jewish history used in political discourse in contemporary society in the U.S. and around the Globe? How can the historical tools be utilized to generate a sophisticated and discerning public engagement with the complexities of the Jewish past? In this course, students will explore these questions through seminar discussions, attending, evaluating, and critiquing exhibits and cultural events and watching films that put Jewish history on display, and by deploying their own research, writing, and creative skills to produce public facing final projects or a traditional research paper.

Full details for HIST 4196 - From the Bible to the Museum: Jewish Memory and Public History

Fall.
HIST4203 Contesting Votes: Democracy and Citizenship Throughout U.S. History
This advanced seminar traces transformations in citizenship and the franchise throughout U.S. history. Through readings, frequent short writings, discussion, and a final paper, the class examines the struggles over who can claim full citizenship and legitimate voice in the political community. It examines the divergent, often clashing, visions of legitimate democratic rule, focusing particularly on the debates over who should vote and on what terms.  We examine the dynamics that have shaped the boundaries of citizenship and hierarchies within it, paying attention to changes in the civic status of Native Americans, property-less white men, paupers, women, African Americans, various immigrant groups, residents of U.S. colonies, felons, and people with intellectual disabilities. A significant portion of the class focuses on debates about U.S. democracy in the decades after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Full details for HIST 4203 - Contesting Votes: Democracy and Citizenship Throughout U.S. History

Fall.
HIST4262 Environmental Justice: Past, Present, Future
"Environmental Justice" is a relatively recent term, coined in the United States in the 1980s.  It usually refers to a social movement fighting against the unfair concentration of toxic sites within impoverished communities of color.  As a broader set of ideas, though, "environmental justice" has a much longer history, going back at least to the 17th century in England, when poor farmers banded together to prevent common land from being enclosed for the exclusive use of the aristocracy.  This course explores that deep history, examining various overlaps between environmental thought and theories of social justice over the past 400 years in the western world.  It concludes with an examination of the current climate justice movement and a consideration of how environmental justice concerns are being played out in recent works of speculative fiction.  What do we owe to the climate refugees of our present day?  What do we owe to future generations?

Full details for HIST 4262 - Environmental Justice: Past, Present, Future

Fall.
HIST4459 History of Book in China
One of the pressing concerns for scholars of print culture is how to access the impact of print in the Chinese context. This course will examine the current scholarship on the history of Chinese books within a broader comparative framework of the history of book in general. The readings deal with the impact of print and the growth of book market on the intellectual, social, and political transformation of Chinese society, focusing on the culture and technology of printing as an indispensable condition of textual production, circulation, and reception. By suggesting the history of book not merely as the study of publishing and publishers but as an interdisciplinary approach to combine literary criticism, material culture, and history of the broader social conditions, this seminar aims to provide students an opportunity to conceive their own theoretical framework upon which more specialized research can be built.

Full details for HIST 4459 - History of Book in China

Fall.
HIST4655 Revolution: An Intellectual History
For more than two centuries, revolutions have marked the rhythm of modernity. In 1780, the original meaning of revolution - an astronomical rotation - was transformed in order to apprehend a social and political overthrow. This course will investigate the multiple uses of this crucial concept of political theory, from the revolutionary canon (Blanqui, Marx, Fanon...) to the classics of conservatism (Maistre, Cortés, Schmitt...), which depict contemporary history as a conflict between revolutions and counter-revolutions, socialist and fascist revolutions. We will explore the connections between history and theory, and stress the global dimension of revolutions, forged by a permanent transfer of ideas and people from one continent to another.

Full details for HIST 4655 - Revolution: An Intellectual History

Fall.
HIST4667 Nationalism(s) in the Arab World
This seminar examines the emergence of national identities, nationalist movements, and nation-states in the modern Arab world. First, we will examine various approaches to the question of nationalism, using Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities as our basic reference. We will then test the applicability of these general theories to the Arab World through our examination of specific case studies.

Full details for HIST 4667 - Nationalism(s) in the Arab World

Fall.
HIST4673 Vienna and the Birth of the Modern
This course takes Vienna's history as a starting point for studying how the modern mind fought to liberate itself from a past deemed overly burdensome, while embracing radical innovation and change. Students will develop a sense of the city's role as a laboratory of twentieth-century ideologies and ideas: liberalism and conservatism, Zionism and anti-Semitism, modernism and traditionalism. Most of the course's key themes will converge on what contemporaries referred to as 'the Jewish question,' a problem which most characters we will examine engaged with to some extent. Assigned readings will include texts by Arthur Schnitzler, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Joseph Roth, Robert Musil, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Full details for HIST 4673 - Vienna and the Birth of the Modern

Fall.
HIST4693 Silent No More: Deaf and Disability History in the United States
Disabilities, broadly defined, are not exclusively clinical phenomena that belong to the realm of healthcare professionals and rehabilitation specialists. Instead, disability is a lived human experience that is always already embedded in a set of socially constructed ideas that change over time, across cultures, and in relation to race, gender, class and sexuality. Disability is embodied but also discursively constituted, shaped by social injustice and the built environment, and often rendered paradoxically visible and invisible in an ableist and audist world. This seminar explores these complex dynamics and the ways that disability – as an experience and a category of analysis – illuminates new interpretations of major themes and developments in American history like labor, citizenship, immigration, medicine, and activism.

Full details for HIST 4693 - Silent No More: Deaf and Disability History in the United States

Fall.
HIST4851 Refugees
Since World War II, over 4 million people have migrated to the United States as refugees. In this seminar we will examine some of these refugee migrations and the ways these migrations challenged our understanding of the United States as a "haven for the oppressed." We will examine the crafting of refugee/asylum policy, the role of nongovernmental actors in influencing policy, and the ways policy reflected foreign-policy interests and security concerns. The last weeks of the course will pay particular attention to climate refugees and asylum-seekers, and our changing definitions of who 'merits' protection in the United States.

Full details for HIST 4851 - Refugees

Fall.
HIST6002 Professional Development Seminar
This workshop-style course provides a weekly opportunity for graduate students across all the fields of History and related disciplines to learn about different skills and competencies to succeed in graduate school. Some weeks, we will focus on how to do research in archives, taking notes and organizing sources, grant-writing, preparing an article for a journal, applying for jobs, writing a cover letter, compiling a CV and writing an annual report. Students will also have opportunities to practice giving conference presentations, job talks, and participating in video interviews.  The aim is to create a secure space where graduate students learn how to succeed in graduate school.

Full details for HIST 6002 - Professional Development Seminar

Fall, Spring.
HIST6006 History Colloquium Series
This course is a forum, organized jointly by students and the Director of Graduate Studies, for the reading and discussion of precirculated papers, written mainly by graduate students in the History program. Students registering are expected to attend regularly.

Full details for HIST 6006 - History Colloquium Series

Fall, Spring.
HIST6010 European History Colloquium
A research colloquium designed for European history graduate students. The colloquium will offer a forum for students to present papers and to discuss the work of Europeanists at Cornell as well as visiting scholars.

Full details for HIST 6010 - European History Colloquium

Fall, spring.
HIST6132 Mobility, Circulation, Migration, Diaspora: Global Connections
This graduate seminar seeks to familiarize students with some of the most recent takes on transnational history that have emphasized the experiences of individuals and groups whose lives were affected by mobility across political boundaries. An explicit aim of the seminar is to use these border-crossing lives as a way to develop a critique of conventional areas studies frameworks and to explore the possibilities of imagining (geographically and otherwise) a different world (or multiple different ways of organizing global space). Since most of the readings will concentrate on the pre-nineteenth century world, the seminar will also offer students tools to rethink conventional narratives of the rise of a globalized world that tend to emphasize the second half of the nineteenth century as the birth of the global world. Globalization, this course will demonstrate, was happening long before most accepted narratives assert.

Full details for HIST 6132 - Mobility, Circulation, Migration, Diaspora: Global Connections

Fall.
HIST6168 Race and Asia in World History
This course explores the development of the concept of "race" as applied by and to Asian populations and societies. We also examine the idea of "Asia" and its others in global discourse, including through lenses such as Orientalism, Occidentalism, Pan-Asianism, and Afro-Asianism. Our focus is on the history of East Asia and trans-Pacific entanglements with Western empires from the early modern era to the present. A major theme is race science, or the scientific investigation and construction of "race," as it was practiced on and by East Asian peoples. We also explore intersections of "race" with nationalism, imperialism, warfare, law and citizenship, and sex and the family.

Full details for HIST 6168 - Race and Asia in World History

Fall.
HIST6190 Seminar in the History of Technology
Graduate-level survey of the history of technology, which introduces some key questions, concepts, and approaches within the field since the 1980s. Typical themes include social construction of technology; technological systems and infrastructure; technopolitics; race, class, genders, disability, and technology; users; envirotech; maintenance and repair; colonialism and decolonizing technology; and public and engaged #histtech.

Full details for HIST 6190 - Seminar in the History of Technology

Fall.
HIST6378 Key Texts in European Cultural-Intellectual History
This graduate seminar focuses on some of the key texts to have set the contours of modern historical research. Readings will include works by Arendt, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Bourdieu, Burckhardt, Foucault, Koselleck, and more. The course is intended especially for students focusing on European cultural-intellectual history, but open to all graduate students interested in historical thought and method.

Full details for HIST 6378 - Key Texts in European Cultural-Intellectual History

Fall.
HIST6452 Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora
This course uses a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the importance of textiles in African social and economic history and the long engagement between African consumers and textile producers from other world regions.  It combines art history, anthropology as well as social and economic history to explore the role of textiles and dress in marking status, gender, political authority and ethnicity.  In addition, we examine the production and distribution of indigenous and imported cloth as well as the consequences of colonial rule and contemporary globalization on African textile industries and consumers. Our analysis also considers the principles of African aesthetics and dress that continue to shape the African diaspora in the Americas.

Full details for HIST 6452 - Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora

Fall.
HIST6571 American Defense Policy and Military History from the Two World Wars to the Global War on Terror
America is finishing up two wars, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. They have been the longest wars in American history and have ended amid much ambivalence about the US engagement in each place and the results. They are part of a series of wars that America has fought as a global power, with a global reach, sending its forces thousands of miles from home. That global reach is not new, and goes back all the way to 1898 and the Spanish-American War. This course will look at the American military experience from our first tentative steps onto the global stage in 1898, to the earth-spanning conflicts of World War I and II, to the nuclear tension of Cold War conflicts, and finish with the current Long War against terrorism, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Full details for HIST 6571 - American Defense Policy and Military History from the Two World Wars to the Global War on Terror

Fall, Spring, Summer.
HIST6655 Revolution: An Intellectual History
For more than two centuries, revolutions have marked the rhythm of modernity. In 1780, the original meaning of revolution - an astronomical rotation - was transformed in order to apprehend a social and political overthrow. This course will investigate the multiple uses of this crucial concept of political theory, from the revolutionary canon (Blanqui, Marx, Fanon...) to the classics of conservatism (Maistre, Cortés, Schmitt...), which depict contemporary history as a conflict between revolutions and counter-revolutions, socialist and fascist revolutions. We will explore the connections between history and theory, and stress the global dimension of revolutions, forged by a permanent transfer of ideas and people from one continent to another.

Full details for HIST 6655 - Revolution: An Intellectual History

Fall.
HIST6659 History of Book in China
One of the pressing concerns for scholars of print culture is how to access the impact of print in the Chinese context. This course will examine the current scholarship on the history of Chinese books within a broader comparative framework of the history of book in general. The readings deal with the impact of print and the growth of book market on the intellectual, social, and political transformation of Chinese society, focusing on the culture and technology of printing as an indispensable condition of textual production, circulation, and reception. By suggesting the history of book not merely as the study of publishing and publishers but as an interdisciplinary approach to combine literary criticism, material culture, and history of the broader social conditions, this seminar aims to provide students an opportunity to conceive their own theoretical framework upon which more specialized research can be built.

Full details for HIST 6659 - History of Book in China

Fall.
HIST6667 Nationalism(s) in the Arab World
This seminar examines the emergence of national identities, nationalist movements, and nation-states in the modern Arab world. First, we will examine various approaches to the question of nationalism, using Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities as our basic reference. We will then test the applicability of these general theories to the Arab World through our examination of specific case studies.

Full details for HIST 6667 - Nationalism(s) in the Arab World

Fall.
HIST6673 Vienna and the Birth of the Modern
This course takes Vienna's history as a starting point for studying how the modern mind fought to liberate itself from a past deemed overly burdensome, while embracing radical innovation and change. Students will develop a sense of the city's role as a laboratory of twentieth-century ideologies and ideas: liberalism and conservatism, Zionism and anti-Semitism, modernism and traditionalism. Most of the course's key themes will converge on what contemporaries referred to as 'the Jewish question,' a problem which most characters we will examine engaged with to some extent. Assigned readings will include texts by Arthur Schnitzler, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Joseph Roth, Robert Musil, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Full details for HIST 6673 - Vienna and the Birth of the Modern

Fall.
HIST6693 Silent No More: Deaf and Disability History in the United States
Disabilities, broadly defined, are not exclusively clinical phenomena that belong to the realm of healthcare professionals and rehabilitation specialists. Instead, disability is a lived human experience that is always already embedded in a set of socially constructed ideas that change over time, across cultures, and in relation to race, gender, class and sexuality. Disability is embodied but also discursively constituted, shaped by social injustice and the built environment, and often rendered paradoxically visible and invisible in an ableist and audist world. This seminar explores these complex dynamics and the ways that disability – as an experience and a category of analysis – illuminates new interpretations of major themes and developments in American history like labor, citizenship, immigration, medicine, and activism.

Full details for HIST 6693 - Silent No More: Deaf and Disability History in the United States

Fall.
HIST6851 Refugees
Since World War II, over 4 million people have migrated to the United States as refugees. In this seminar we will examine some of these refugee migrations and the ways these migrations challenged our understanding of the United States as a "haven for the oppressed." We will examine the crafting of refugee/asylum policy, the role of nongovernmental actors in influencing policy, and the ways policy reflected foreign-policy interests and security concerns. The last weeks of the course will pay particular attention to climate refugees and asylum-seekers, and our changing definitions of who 'merits' protection in the United States.

Full details for HIST 6851 - Refugees

Fall.
HIST7090 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.

Full details for HIST 7090 - Introduction to the Graduate Study of History

Fall.
HIST7110 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.

Full details for HIST 7110 - Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

Fall.
HIST7937 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. 

Full details for HIST 7937 - Proseminar in Peace Studies

Spring.
HIST8004 Supervised Reading
Independent Study based supervised reading with a history faculty/field member.

Full details for HIST 8004 - Supervised Reading

Fall, Spring.
HIST8010 Independent Study-PIRIP
Independent Study based supervised reading with a history faculty/field member.

Full details for HIST 8010 - Independent Study-PIRIP

Fall, Spring.
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