Professors Cole, Hirai, Grafflin, Jones (chair), and Creighton; Associate Professor Jensen; Assistant Professors Hall and Melvin; Visiting Assistant Professor Plastas (History, Politics, and Women and Gender Studies); Lecturers Beam, Lexow, Williams, Bunselmeyer, and Head
History has been defined as the collective memory of things said and done, arranged in a meaningful pattern. Such knowledge of the past supplies context, perspective, and clarity in a diverse and changing world. The members of the history department offer widely differing views of the history of a broad variety of peoples, yet they agree that the study of the past provides meaning in the present and informed choices for the future.
The study of history teaches an appreciation of both change and continuity, the critical examination of evidence, the construction of arguments, and the articulation of conclusions. In addition to teaching and to graduate studies in history and law, majors find careers in related fields, such as work in museums and archives, public service, indeed any profession requiring skills of research, analysis, and expression.
Courses in the history department are designed to be taken in sequence: first, introductory survey courses (100-level), then more specialized intermediate courses (200- and 300-level), and ultimately advanced seminars (390). While nonmajors are welcome in any history course, all students are encouraged to begin their study of history with 100-level courses. More information on the history department is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/HIST.xml).
Cross-listed Courses. Note that unless otherwise specified, when a department/program references a course or unit in the department/program, it includes courses and units cross-listed with the department/program.
Major Requirements. Majors must complete either nine courses and the mandatory Short Term unit, or eight courses, the mandatory Short Term unit, and one other Short Term unit. Majors choose a primary concentration from one of the following five fields: East Asia, Latin America, Europe, the United States, and premodern history. The primary concentration includes five courses in the chosen field: one 100-level survey course; two more specific courses in that field, which may include 200- or 300-level courses, a Short Term unit, or a First-Year Seminar; a 390 seminar; and the senior thesis (History 457 or 458).
Majors must take two courses from one of either of the two following fields: East Asia or Latin America. Students whose primary concentration is in one of these two fields must take two courses in any other field. Courses that are listed in two fields may be counted in either field, but not in both.
Students considering graduate study in history are advised to take some course work in U.S. and modern European history to prepare for the Graduate Record Examination. An intermediate level of competency in a foreign language (the equivalent of four semesters of college-level instruction) is a bare minimum for graduate work in history.
Mandatory Short Term Unit. All history majors must complete History s40, Introduction to Historical Methods, which focuses on critical analysis, research skills, and historiography. Students are strongly advised to take this unit in their sophomore year, and must do so by the end of their junior year. This unit is a prerequisite for registering for the senior thesis.
Senior Thesis. A senior history major writes a thesis in the fall (History 457) or winter semester (History 458). Thesis writing develops the skills learned in earlier courses and demonstrates the ability to work independently as a historian. Students enrolling in History 457 should consult with the department before the fall semester.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.
Departmental Honors. Each spring, the department invites outstanding junior majors to become candidates for graduation with departmental honors. There are three principal advantages to this program for the qualified student: first, the two-semester schedule, with two course credits, allows more time for the maturation of the project and grants twice the academic credit for the related research and writing; second, the mutual understanding of the honors candidate and the thesis advisor that the completed work is to be presented to other interested readers also contributes to an enhanced relationship and a shared commitment that it be brought to a satisfactory conclusion; third, the quality of this relationship and of the completed work can inform much more substantive letters of recommendation, based on the student's demonstrated competence, discipline, and independence, the personal characteristics most sought by professional schools and potential employers alike.
Departmental invitees should discuss proposed topics with the preferred advisor before the beginning of the academic year. They must produce sufficient written work of sufficiently good quality by the end of the fall semester of the senior year to justify formal nomination by the history department to the College's Honors Committee. They must also present their work to a small faculty panel at the end of the winter semester in an oral session that tends to be far more an instructive rite of passage than a "defense." Finally, before graduation, the honors candidate must have demonstrated reading competence in a foreign language, which is commonly shown by completion of the fourth semester of college language-study.
External Credits. Majors must take a minimum of eight history courses and units from Bates faculty members. This means that students may use a maximum of two credits taken elsewhere (transfer or off-campus study courses) toward the major requirements. Advanced Placement credits, awarded for a score of four or five on the relevant examination, may count toward overall college graduation requirements but do not count toward the history major.
Secondary Concentration. The secondary concentration in history consists of at least six courses and/or units. Five of these courses must be taken from Bates faculty members. The history department's offerings cover an enormous range in space and time. Like history majors, secondary concentrators should focus their studies in one of the department's areas of specialization and also sample at least one other area outside of the modern U.S. or European experience. Secondary concentrators should also take at least one course at the highest level, the 390 seminars. The six courses and/or units must consist of: 1) At least three courses and/or units in one of the history department's areas of concentration: United States, Europe, Latin America, East Asia, or premodern. Of these three, one must be a 100-level survey course and one must be a 390 seminar. 2) At least one course must be in Latin American or East Asian history, or if the focus is in one of these areas, at least one course must be in any other area of concentration.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Courses applied toward a secondary concentration in history may not be taken pass/fail.
General Education. Any history course, Short Term unit, or First-Year Seminar 234, 271, and 297 count toward the humanities requirement. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level credit awarded by the department may not be used toward fulfillment of any General Education requirements.
CM/HI 100. Introduction to the Ancient World.This course introduces the Greco-Roman world, and serves as a useful basis for 200- and 300-level courses in classical civilization. Within a general chronological framework students consider the ancient world under a series of headings: religion, philosophy, art, education, literature, social life, politics, and law. The survey begins with Bronze Age Crete and Mycenae and ends with the first century B.C.E., as Rome makes its presence felt in the Mediterranean and moves toward empire. Enrollment limited to 60. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. D. O'Higgins.
CM/HI 102. Medieval Europe.Far from being an "enormous hiccup" in human progress, the medieval centuries (circa 350–1350) marked the full emergence of Islamic, Byzantine, and West European civilizations. These powerful medieval cultures shape our present. The central theme of this introductory survey course is the genesis and development of a distinct Western European medieval civilization including its social, economic, political, and cultural aspects. Important topics include the devolution of the Roman Empire; the Christianization of the West; the origins of the Byzantine world; the rise of Islam; and the history of medieval women. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. M. Jones.
HIST 104. Europe, 1789 to the Present.By covering more than 200 years of modern European history, this course shows how society has evolved from warring empires to European Union. Major events like the French and Russian revolutions, the development of industrial capitalism, and two world wars are analyzed by using primary documents and analytical texts. Students are introduced to the uses of evidence by historians. Themes that run through the course are class conflict, gender relations, cultural trends, and the changing nature of the state. Normally offered every year. Staff.
CM/HI 106. Greek Civilization.This course considers: 1) the archaic civilization of Homer, a poet celebrating the heroes of an aristocratic and personal world; 2) the classical civilization of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Phidias, the dramatists and sculptor of a democratic and political Athens; 3) the synthesis of Plato, celebrating the hero Socrates and attempting to preserve and promote aristocratic values in a political world. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. J. Cole.
CM/HI 108. Roman Civilization: The Republic.In this course students explore the civilization and history of ancient Rome from the foundation of the Republic in 510/509 B.C.E. until its collapse in civil war and its transformation into a monarchy under Julius Caesar and his nephew, Octavian. Each week the class convenes for lectures devoted to the political, social, and cultural history of the Republic. In addition, students meet once a week to discuss in detail primary sources for the period. Recommended background: Classical and Medieval Studies/History 101. Enrollment limited to 60. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Imber.
CM/HI 109. Roman Civilization: The Empire.In this course students examine the civilization and history of ancient Rome from the Principate, the monarchy established by Octavian in 27 B.C.E., until the end of Justinian's dynasty at the beginning of the seventh century of the common era. Each week the class convenes for lectures devoted to the political, social, and cultural history of the Empire. In addition, students meet once a week to discuss in detail primary sources for the period. Recommended background: Classical and Medieval Studies/Religion 101 and Classical and Medieval Studies/History 107. Enrollment limited to 60. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Imber.
HIST 140. Origins of the New Nation, 1500–1820.This course examines how Americans, Europeans, and Africans cooperated with and confronted one another following 1500 and through the half-century following U.S. independence. The course focuses primarily on the British colonies that became the United States. Nonetheless, because the history of the United States is more than just the history of thirteen colonies, students learn about other North American colonies as a brief introduction to a much wider picture. By looking at a variety of sources and historical scholarship, students learn how members of these groups shaped the new nation, sometimes willingly, sometimes not. In addition, students gain an appreciation for the varied approaches that historians take when studying the past. Normally offered every year. J. Hall.
HIST 141. America in the Age of the Civil War.This course surveys United States history from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century, focusing particularly on the experience of immigrants, women, the plantation South, and the urbanizing North. Special attention is also given to the history of the American Civil War. Normally offered every other year. M. Creighton.
HIST 142. America in the Twentieth Century.This course surveys the American experience in the twentieth century from a deliberately interpretive point of view, examining political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of life in the United States. Special attention is directed to the impact of war, corporate globalism, and movements for change upon the development of an increasingly complex, variegated modern society confronting the paradox of simultaneous social segmentation—by race, class, gender, ethnicity—and cultural homogenization. Students consider the disjunction between Americans' democratic ideals and their administered reality and what can be done to heal the split. Normally offered every year. H. Jensen.
HIST 171. China and Its Culture.An overview of Chinese civilization from the god-kings of the second millennium and the emergence of the Confucian familial state in the first millennium B.C.E., through the expansion of the hybrid Sino-foreign empires, to the revolutionary transformation of Chinese society by internal and external pressures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (Premodern.) (East Asian.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. D. Grafflin.
HIST 172. Japan: Myths, Stereotypes, and Realities.This course surveys the development of Japanese culture and society from earliest times to the mid-nineteenth century, and discusses myths, stereotypes, and realities about Japan's so-called traditions and characteristics. Topics include the emperor's institution, samurai (warrior) culture, women's place in society, feudalism versus anti-authoritarian tradition, cosmopolitanism versus isolationism, and towns and villages, all in a comparative framework of world history. In addition to reading primary sources, class participants regularly watch taped segments on relevant topics from Japanese television programs. (Premodern.) (East Asian.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. A. Hirai.
HIST 173. Korea and Its Culture.The course examines the distinctive evolution of Korean civilization within the East Asian cultural sphere, from its myths of origin through its struggles to survive amidst powerful neighbors, to the twentieth-century challenges of colonial domination and its poisonous legacies of civil war and division, and the puzzles of redefining a hierarchical Neo-Confucian state in the context of global capitalism. Not open to students who have received credit for Asian Studies 173. (Premodern.) (East Asian.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. D. Grafflin.
HIST 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.Beginning with the first encounters between Europeans and Americans and ending with the challenges of globalization in the twenty-first century, this course offers a chronological and topical overview of 500 years of Latin American history. It examines individual lives within the frameworks of sweeping political, social, and cultural transformations. Students use primary documents, images, analytical texts, and films to explore the major themes of the course, including the nature of conquest; the mixing of European, African, and American cultures; independence and nation building; and twentieth-century social revolutions and military dictatorships. Special attention is given to issues of race, gender, religion, and the role of the United States. (Latin American.) Normally offered every year. K. Melvin.
CM/HI 203. Great Wars of Greek Antiquity.Much of the perennial appeal of the history of the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War lies in storied confrontations of East and West, empire and freedom, rise and fall, folly and intelligence, war and peace, victory and defeat. More of the interest for the reflective student lies in the critical use of the classical sources, especially Herodotus and Thucydides, and in the necessary qualification of those too-simple polarities, East/West, empire/freedom, rise/fall, folly/intelligence, war/peace, victory/defeat, and, of course, good/bad. Open to first-year students. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. J. Cole.
CM/HI 207. The Roman World and Roman Britain.The Roman Empire is famous for its decline and fall. Stretching from the Euphrates to the Atlantic, however, this remarkable multiethnic empire persisted for 500 years. Its story is a fascinating example of what Theodore Mommsen tagged the moral problem of "the struggle of necessity and liberty." This course is a study of the unifying and fragmenting forces at work on the social, economic, and political structures of the Roman imperial world. Key themes include the western provinces and Roman Britain, the effects of Romanization on conquered peoples, and the rise of Christianity. The survey begins with the reign of Augustus and concludes with the barbarian invasions of the fifth century. Open to first-year students. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Jones.
INDS 208. Introduction to Medieval Archeology.The Middle Ages were a time of major cultural changes that laid the groundwork for Northwest Europe's emergence as a global center of political and economic power in subsequent centuries. However, many aspects of life in the period from 1000 to 1500 C.E. were unrecorded in contemporary documents and art, and archeology has become an important tool for recovering that information. This course introduces the interdisciplinary methods and the findings of archeological studies of topics including medieval urban and rural lifeways, health, commerce, religion, social hierarchy, warfare, and the effects of global climate change. Cross-listed in anthropology, classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Open to first-year students. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. G. Bigelow.
CM/HI 209. Vikings.The Vikings were the most feared and perhaps misunderstood people of their day. Savage raiders branded as the Antichrist by their Christian victims, the Vikings were also the most successful traders and explorers of the early Middle Ages. The Viking Age lasted for three centuries (800–1100 C.E.), and the Vikings' world stretched from Russia to North America. Study of the myth and reality of Viking culture involves materials drawn from history, archeology, mythology, and literature. Prerequisite(s): History 102. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones.
HI/WS 210. Technology in U.S. History.Surveys the development, distribution, and use of technology in the United States from colonial roadways to microelectronics, using primary and secondary source material. Subjects treated include sexual and racial divisions of labor, theories of invention and innovation, and the ecological consequences of technological change. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. R. Herzig.
ES/HI 211. Environmental Perspectives on U.S. History.This course explores the relationship between the North American environment and the development and expansion of the United States. Because Americans' efforts (both intentional and not) to define and shape the environment were rooted in their own struggles for power, environmental history offers an important perspective on the nation's social history. Specific topics include Europeans', Africans', and Indians' competing efforts to shape the colonial environment; the impact and changing understanding of disease; the relationship between industrial environments and political power; and the development of environmental movements. Recommended background: History 140, 141, or 142. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. J. Hall.
INDS 219. Environmental Archeology.Over the past two hundred years archeologists, scientists, and humanists in many disciplines have worked together to understand the interactions of past human populations with the physical world, including plants, animals, landscapes, and climates. This course outlines the methods and theories used by archeologists, geologists, biologists, physicists, chemists, and historians in reconstructing past economies and ecologies in diverse areas of the globe. The course also discusses how archeology contributes to our understanding of contemporary environmental issues such as rapid climate change, shrinking biodiversity, and sustainable use of resources. Cross-listed in anthropology, environmental studies, and history. Recommended background: Anthropology 103. Open to first-year students. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. G. Bigelow.
HIST 220. From Goldwater to Gingrich: American Political Conservatism.The course explores the rise and evolution of the conservative movement in U.S. politics from the early 1960s to the congressional elections of 1994. Significant issues and trends that enabled the emergence of powerful conservative movement are explored in a historical context, especially in light of shifts in the American social structure and the nature of partisan politics. Recommended background: History 142. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. C. Beam.
HIST 221. History of Russia, 1762–1917.Despite a backward political and social structure, Russia has been a world power since the eighteenth century. This course considers how Russia's rulers from Catherine the Great to Nicholas II tried to prevent the forces of Western ideas and industrialization from weakening their power, causing radical intellectuals, peasants, and workers to join together in a unique revolutionary movement. The course ends with a study of the successful overthrow of the government in 1917 and the creation of a Bolshevik state. Recommended background: History 104. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
HIST 223. The French Enlightenment.Eighteenth-century men of letters broke radically from traditional and previously authoritative ideas, values, and beliefs. Simplifying outrageously, they challenged the sovereignty of the Christian faith, preaching instead varieties of rationalism, liberalism, and utilitarianism. For their opponents, now as then, this is to risk making a god of the dear self. For sympathizers, it marks the beginning of modernity. The course centers on five great figures: Descartes, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot, whose works are read in translation. Research projects can be designed to serve French majors. Not open to students who have received credit for French 353. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. J. Cole.
HIST 224. The French Revolution.This course considers three periods and related problems: 1) the pre-Revolutionary Old Regime and its defining political, religious, and social structures; 2) the "more moderate" revolution of 1789–1791, which destroyed the old order of throne and altar and of nobles and nobodies and attempted to reconstruct the nation on principles of liberty and equality; 3) the "more radical" revolution of 1792–1794, in which the Jacobin Republic resorted to acknowledged terror as a means of imposing a new regime and crushing opposition to it, while also giving political voice to ordinary men and women and formally emancipating rebellious slaves. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. J. Cole.
HIST 230. Modern European Intellectual History.This intermediate survey course in twentieth-century European thought, culture, science, and the arts considers the following: modernism, relativity, psychoanalysis, the avant-garde, futurism, the decline of the West, feminism, surrealism, critical theory, eugenics and genocide, totalitarianism, the absurd, structuralism, postmodernism, genetics, and the computer. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. R. Williams.
CM/HI 231. Litigation in Classical Athens.This course studies the practice of law in ancient Athens. About 100 speeches survive from the fourth century B.C.E. in which Athenians contested everything from wills and property to the worthiness of political candidates for office and the proper conduct of domestic and international affairs. Study of these speeches illuminates not merely the procedural organization of law in the Athenian democracy, but also the nature of political, social, and cultural structures in Athens. Consequently, the course concentrates as much on the various methodological approaches scholars have applied to the orations as on learning the mechanics of Athenian legal procedure. Open to first-year students. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Imber.
HIST 241. The Age of the American Revolution, 1763–1789.A study of the American Revolution from its origins as a protest movement to one seeking independence from Britain. Because the War for Independence transformed American society, the course examines differences among Americans over the meaning of the Revolution and over the nature of society in the new republic. The course considers the significance of the Revolution for Europeans and Latin Americans as well. Recommended background: History 140. Offered with varying frequency. J. Hall.
AA/HI 243. African American History.Blacks in this country have been described as both "omni-Americans" and a distinctive cultural "nation within a nation." The course explores this apparent paradox using primary and interpretive sources, including oral and written biography, music, fiction, and social history. It examines key issues, recurrent themes, conflicting strategies, and influential personalities in African Americans' quest for freedom and security. It surveys black American history from seventeenth-century African roots to current problems that remain in building an egalitarian, multiracial society for the future. Recommended background: History 140, 141, or 142. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. H. Jensen.
HIST 244. Native American History.A survey of Native American peoples from European contact to the present, this course addresses questions of cultural interaction, power, and native peoples' continuing history of colonization. By looking at the ways various First Nations took advantage of and suffered from their new relations with newcomers, students learn that this history is more than one of conquest and disappearance. In addition, they learn that the basic categories of "Indian," and "white" are themselves inadequate for understanding native pasts and presents. Much of this learning depends on careful readings of native writers. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. J. Hall.
HIST 249. Colonial North America.This course seeks to rectify the common misconception that American colonial history consists only of the thirteen British colonies of the Atlantic seaboard. Instead, students examine the colonial period from a continental perspective, examining a number of societies that Europeans, Americans, and Africans created in North America before 1800. Combining historical readings with primary sources such as documents, paintings, and architecture, students can appreciate the wide variety of American colonial experiences and some of the ways these societies were connected. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. J. Hall.
HI/WS 252. A Woman's Place: Gender and Geography in the United States, 1800–2000.Using a case study approach, this course looks at diverse American women from the early 1800s to the present and how they shaped, traversed, and contested the spaces they inhabited or were assigned, whether public or private, rural or urban, temporary or lifelong. Recommended background: History 141 or 142 or Women and Gender Studies 100. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
HIST 261. American Protest in the Twentieth Century.This course examines the persistent and uniquely American impetus toward individual liberty, equality, and collective moral reform by studying a variety of protest movements and representative dissenters from Emma Goldman to the Ruckus Society of 1999 Seattle. It consequently investigates the development and interplay of American variants of anarchism, socialism, pacifism, syndicalism, racial egalitarianism, counter-culture, feminism, radical environmentalism, sexual freedom, and the new anti-corporatism along with their influences—intended and fortuitous—upon the larger society. Recommended background: History 142. Normally offered every other year. H. Jensen.
HIST 265. Wartime Dissent in Modern America.Periods of war—whatever their justifications—have proven to be dangerous times for American civil liberties. The price of patriotic unity is often paid directly by American dissenters targeted—by political or racial profiling and repressive legislation—for government surveillance, harassment, prosecution, detention, internment, imprisonment, or deportation. This course explores whether such costs are ever defensible, why dissenters risk such sanctions, and what the long-term consequences of even short-term curtailments of freedom portend for the future of American democracy. Conflicts from World War I through the contemporary "War on Terror" are examined. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. H. Jensen.
HI/WS 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.Places recent popular and scientific discussions of human heredity and genetics in broader social, political, and historical context, focusing on shifting definitions of personhood. Topics include the ownership and exchange of human bodies and body parts, the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. R. Herzig.
HIST 271. The United States in Vietnam, 1945–1975.This course examines United States military and political intervention in Vietnam, which became a dominant—and divisive—issue in the post-World War II era. Topics explored include the origins and development of Vietnamese anticolonial resistance movements, the cold war and the evolution of U.S. policy in Southeast Asia, the U.S. decision to intervene and later withdraw, domestic opposition to the war, and the impact of the conflict on Americans and Vietnamese. The objective of the course is to develop a coherent historical understanding of what became one of the costliest conflicts in U.S. history. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every year. C. Beam.
HIST 274. China in Revolution.Modern China's century of revolutions, from the disintegration of the traditional empire in the late nineteenth century, through the twentieth-century attempts at reconstruction, to the tenuous stability of the post-Maoist regime. Recommended background: History 171. (East Asian.) Normally offered every year. D. Grafflin.
HIST 275. Japan in the Age of Imperialism.A course on Japan's modern transformation, necessitated by the expansion of the West's imperialism and colonialism in the nineteenth century. In the spirit that "imitation is the best defense," Japan adopted many Western institutions and technologies in government, law, defense, industry, and foreign affairs. Along with them came cultural and social changes. But not all was well with this Westernization-as-modernization. This course examines the nature of nineteenth-century imperialism, Japan's adaptation to it, and the vast majority of Japanese who bore the burden: peasants, industrial workers, women, and children. Recommended background: History 172. (East Asian.) Normally offered every other year. A. Hirai.
HIST 276. Japan since 1945 through Film and Literature.A course on Japan since World War II. A brief survey of Japan's prewar history is followed by a detailed analysis of postwar developments. The focus is cultural and social history, but these aspects of postwar Japan are examined in their political, economic, and international context. Study materials combine great works of literature and film with scholarly writings on related subjects. Kurosawa's Rashomon is viewed in conjunction with a book on the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Kobo Abe's novels and their film renditions are coupled with excerpts from Marx's treatises on alienation in capitalist society. Open to first-year students. (East Asian.) Normally offered every other year. A. Hirai.
HIST 277. Race, Empire, War: World War II in Asia and the Pacific.This course examines Japan's war against the United States within a larger context of the Sino-Japanese War and World War II in Europe, and attempts to debunk myths about Japan's fanaticism in executing a holy war. After surveying Japan's geopolitical, strategic, and diplomatic intrigues, the roles of culture and ideology, and above all, comprehensive war goals, students write a research paper that explores how a trans-Pacific war resulted in a creation of a far more complex new Asia. Participants learn to analyze (in English translation) Japanese archival materials, pamphlets, memoirs, and other publications. Not open to students who have received credit for History 390A. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. (East Asian.) Offered with varying frequency. A. Hirai.
HIST 278. Taiwan.On 20 May 2000, with the inauguration of a president from the opposition, Taiwan added political democracy to the list of Chinese historical achievements. This course surveys the history of the island from seventeenth-century piracy to the emergence of the world's twelfth-largest trading power. Open to first-year students. (East Asian.) Normally offered every other year. D. Grafflin.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.Today the majority of people in Latin America live in cities, but this was not the case 500 years ago when the first Europeans arrived. Since then cities have become home to people of all races and social strata. This course examines the development of cities as meeting grounds among different groups of people, as centers of wealth and power, and as sites where much of Latin America's culture was formed. It concentrates on major cities in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil from precolonial civilizations through twentieth-century mass urbanization. (Latin American.) Normally offered every other year. K. Melvin.
HIST 290. Gender and the Civil War.This course uses gender analysis to study the causes, course, and repercussions of the American Civil War. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
HIST 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
HIST 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department. Staff.
HIST 374. Understanding Chinese Thought.Reading (in translation) the three greatest books ever written in Chinese, as a way of understanding the foundations of East Asian culture. The works are the philosophical/religious anthologies known as the Analects (attributed to Confucius), the Chuang-tzu (commonly labeled Taoist), and the Buddhist scripture Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law (as translated in 406 from a source now unknown). Willingness to engage in the close reading and discussion of a wide variety of philosophical materials is required, but no background in Asian studies is assumed. (Premodern.) (East Asian.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. D. Grafflin.
HIST 390. Junior-Senior Seminars.These seminars provide opportunities for concentrated work on a particular theme, national experience, or methodology for advanced majors and nonmajors alike. Junior and senior majors are encouraged to use these seminars to generate thesis topics.
AC/HI 390B. History in the Public Sphere.This course combines a cultural history seminar with a community history practicum. On the one hand, students explore together the role of social memory and historical consciousness in American culture—the history of Americans' views on and use of their past. On the other hand, students' research and writing focuses on the history of Lewiston's mills and millworker families, as they work with a local museum to help create a traveling exhibit for the Lewiston-Auburn community. The goal is both to understand the importance of the past in community life and to contribute to our own community's historical consciousness. Prerequisite(s): History s40 or American Cultural Studies 220. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. D. Scobey.
HIST 390C. First Conservative, Worst Radicals.Edmund Burke virtually invented modern conservatism as a political philosophy in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) and related speeches and writings against the French Revolution. Sympathizers then rushed into print to defend its principles, led by Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) and Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (1791). From the perspective of good conservatives, worse followed, among the very worst, Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), the foundation text for modern feminism, and Paine's Rights of Man, Part Second (1792), a similar reference point for working-class radicalism. This course revives the great debate. Prerequisite(s): History 224 or History 104. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. J. Cole.
CM/HI 390D. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.Edward Gibbon's classic Decline and Fall is the most famous work of history written in English. This course uses it as an introduction to the problem of the collapse of complex, premodern societies and specifically the end of the Roman West. Changing historical explanations for the fall of Rome are a microcosm of Western historiography. Students also explore basic questions on the nature of history and historians. Not open to students who have received credit for History 390D. Enrollment limited to 15. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones.
AA/HI 390E. African Slavery in the Americas.Of the millions of immigrants who arrived in North and South America during the colonial period, the majority came not from Europe but from Africa. They came not for freedom but as human property, facing a lifetime of bondage for themselves and their offspring. Far from being the "peculiar institution" that whites in the U.S. South called it, slavery existed throughout the Americas before its abolition in the nineteenth century. By reading contemporary scholarship and examining such primary sources as music, letters, autobiographies, and material artifacts, students gain a sense of the ways Africans and African Americans survived and influenced an institution that sought to deny their humanity. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. J. Hall.
HIST 390F. The American West.Focusing in particular on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this course considers the changing cultural, economic, and social landscapes of the American West. Class discussion and readings pay special attention to the way that the West as a social construct intersected with the West as it was lived by multiple communities. After completing an intensive overview of the subject, participants produce a carefully researched paper. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
HIST 390H. The Mexican Revolution.Although best known for the military phase that featured Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican Revolution encompassed a range of ideologies, state-building projects, and social movements. This course examines how scholars have explained the revolution and how its legacies have figured in the creation of modern Mexico. Students develop their own interpretations by analyzing books, articles, novels, and films; considering theories of revolution; and evaluating primary sources. Topics covered include the roles of popular classes and women, the creation of a post-revolutionary government, and the influence of the United States. Recommended background: History 181. Enrollment limited to 15. (Latin American.) Offered with varying frequency. K. Melvin.
CM/HI 390I. Anglo-Saxon England.This seminar concentrates on Dark Age Britain (circa 400–800 C.E.). This period is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Ignorance and obscurity offer one advantage to students: the sources are so few that they may be explored in a single semester. The course is designed to present typical kinds of early medieval evidence (saints' lives, chronicles, annals, charters, poetry, genealogy, archeology), introduce students to their potentials and difficulties, and then set a series of problems that requires application of these materials to gain an answer. Enrollment limited to 15. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones.
HIST 390L. Shanghai, 1927–1937.The Nationalist government of the Republic of China had a single decade in power before full-scale Japanese invasion threw it on the defensive. One spot in particular where it had to prove its ability to govern a modern society and economy was the special Shanghai municipal zone. Scholarly attention in recent years has focused on the surviving archives of the British-controlled police force in the International Settlement. Students have the opportunity to evaluate recent scholarship and pursue their own projects in the microfilm edition of the archives. Recommended background: History 171 and 274. Enrollment limited to 15. (East Asian.) Offered with varying frequency. D. Grafflin.
HIST 390N. The First World War: History, Literature, and Film.This seminar first examines the origins, military history, and outcome of the Great War of 1914–1918, and then how the war and especially the Western Front was later portrayed in literature and film. Students discuss diplomatic and military strategy, the nature of combat for the individual soldier, the medical and psychological history of the war, and the tremendous changes the war brought about in the state system of Europe. Students consider this question: Did the political and cultural impact of the First World War lead on inexorably to the Second? In addition to historical texts, students read memoirs, novels, and poetry, and view several films. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. R. Bunselmeyer.
HIST 390P. Prelude to the Civil Rights Movement.This course explores the forgotten years of the civil rights movement, the seedtime of black protest and insurgency, from the New York Riot of 1900 to the Supreme Court's landmark desegregation decision in 1954. Emphasis is placed upon the development of protest techniques, conflicting organizational strategies of advance, leadership struggles, and the flowering of distinct and innovative cultural forms. Harlem, the cultural capital of black America, is examined as a paradigmatic case study of the effects of northern migration, urbanization, and proletarianization on America's bellwether minority. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every other year. H. Jensen.
CM/HI 390R. The Catilinarian Crisis.This seminar explores the causes of the Catilinarian crisis in the year 63 B.C.E., and the consequences of Catiline for the Roman Republic. Students read and analyze the primary sources for the political career of Rome's great failed rebel, study the complex context of Roman politics during the thirty years between Sulla and Caesar's successful dictatorships, and the careers and ambitions of Rome's prominent political and military leaders (Pompey, Crassus, Caesar, and Cicero), all of whom played critical roles in the Catilinarian crisis. Finally, students study and critique the often contradictory scholarly assessments of the Catilinarian crisis. Prerequisite(s): One 100-level course in classical and medieval studies or history, and one 200-level course in classical and medieval studies or history. Enrollment limited to 25. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Imber.
HIST 390S. Colonies and Empires.After 1492, European empires staked claims to vast American territories. Despite the existence of several colonial cities as large as many in Europe, the improvisational and often forlorn character of many American outposts seemed to mock the idea of empire. Whatever their situation, American subjects proved to be ambivalent members of these new global entities, and the challenges of travel and communication only complicated matters. This seminar explores the paradoxes of imperial authority and local autonomy with a comparative look at the Spanish and British empires, from the early explorers to the first intimations of American independence. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. J. Hall.
HIST 390T. Men and Women in Japanese History.The seminar examines women and men in Japanese history from ancient to modern times. Study materials are taken from various sources: myths, government documents, literary works, scholarly writings, and films. Some of the personalities portrayed in these sources are historical figures, others are fictive. Together they enable students to follow the evolution of the relationship between the sexes as well as their respective lives in history. The course attempts to identify religious, economic, political, biographical, and other variables that best explain gender roles and relations. It also introduces perspectives comparing Japanese experiences and ideas with those in other parts of the world. Enrollment limited to 15. (East Asian.) Normally offered every other year. A. Hirai.
HIST 390V. The Spanish Empire in the Americas.Between 1492 and the early nineteenth-century wars for independence, Spain's empire in the Americas was the largest and wealthiest on earth. This course examines what sorts of societies developed during this period of Spanish rule, focusing on places with intense interactions among native peoples, Europeans, and Africans, such as Mexico, Peru, and the Caribbean. Students read and analyze contemporary scholarship as well as primary sources (e.g. travel diaries, letters, and images) to investigate topics that include the nature and limits of Spanish conquest, gender and honor, silver mining, the influence of the Catholic Church, and the creation of American identities. Recommended background: History 181. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. K. Melvin.
HIST 390W. The Civil Rights Movement.Between 1954 and 1968, the civil rights movement rearranged the terrain and composition of American social relations, altered the domestic agenda of American politics, created a hopeful climate for change, unleashed hidden turbulences of racial nationalism and gender division, and broached still-unanswered questions about the nation's uneven distribution of wealth. It enunciated the moral vocabulary of a generation. By critically examining primary documents, film, audio records, social history, and participant testimony, this course seeks to deflate the mythology surrounding this subject and comprehend it as "living history" infused with new meaning for the present. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every other year. H. Jensen.
HIST 390Z. American Migrations.Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, "In the United States a man builds a house in which to spend his old age, and he sells it before the roof is on." Americans seemed perpetually to be seeking to improve themselves by leaving home. The transformative power of migration appears not just in the Frenchman's rendition of the archetypal "frontier myth." By focusing on Native Americans' migrations, African and European American movements, and the contemporary experiences of Maine's immigrant communities, this course explores the forces that shape (and the stories that explain) migrations. Students examine these experiences to understand how people use acts of uprooting and resettlement to define themselves. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Hall.
HIST 457. Senior Thesis.The research and writing of an extended essay in history, following the established practices of the discipline, under the guidance of a departmental supervisor. Students register for History 457 in the fall semester and for History 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both History 457 and 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.
HIST 457, 458. Senior Thesis.The research and writing of an extended essay in history, following the established practices of the discipline, under the guidance of a departmental supervisor. Students register for History 457 in the fall semester and for History 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both History 457 and 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Short Term Courses
HIST 458. Senior Thesis.The research and writing of an extended essay in history, following the established practices of the discipline, under the guidance of a departmental supervisor. Students register for History 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both History 457 and 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.
HIST s15. Pacifism in Twentieth-Century Japan.Since the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, an uninterrupted pacifist tradition thrived among Japanese people that continued through World War II and beyond. Those pacifists were women, students, laborers, political activists, adherents of various religious beliefs, or just ordinary people who did not want war. By examining their letters, diaries, pamphlets, and other publications (all in English translation), seminar participants understand their goal and desire, and also their influence inside and outside Japan, and evaluate limits and potentials for their successes, not to mention their overall contributions. Open to first-year students. (East Asian.) Offered with varying frequency. A. Hirai.
HIST s20. Visions of the Past: Political Film and Historical Narrative.History need not be done on a page. Visual imagination—captured in photographs and documentary film—has often proved an indispensable pathway to historical, social, and political understanding. But have historians been well served by Hollywood feature film portrayals of politically charged situations "based on a true story" that mix fact and consumer titillation to sell tickets? This unit compares representative films of the "historical" genre to traditional written evidence about some controversial events in recent history. Can cinematic techniques truthfully illuminate dimensions of moral imperative and resonances of the human condition that printed words cannot? Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. H. Jensen.
AC/HI s22. Red Sox Nation.This unit examines the place of major league baseball in American history and contemporary culture, considering particularly the franchise and fan base known as Red Sox Nation, and the legendary rivalry between Boston and the New York Yankees. Students consider how race, class, ethnicity, and gender dynamics have determined the business and practice of the game, and how baseball itself is a culturally defining event. They also examine how baseball rivalries have shaped and reflected regional cultures and identities. This interdisciplinary unit uses a variety of materials for its texts: historical studies, documentary and feature films, Web sites, and visits to baseball games and parks. Students are responsible not only for readings, viewings, and in-class discussion, but also for presentations and a short research paper. This unit has an additional fee. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
HIST s23. Politics and Literature: Britain, 1900–1950.This unit takes as its theme the struggle for a just society in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century. It follows the development of British history from the ascendancy of the Liberal Party at the beginning of the century to the dramatic victory of the Labour Party in the general election of 1945. Political ideas provide one focus, especially the struggle between liberal reform and democratic socialism. Students also discuss how social and political discourse was shaped by major writers such as Thomas Hardy, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, R. H. Tawney, John Maynard Keynes, William Beveridge, Aneurin Bevan, and George Orwell. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. R. Bunselmeyer.
INDS s24. Shetland Islands: Archeological Field Course.The main element of this unit is the excavation of a late medieval/early modern farmstead at Brow, Shetland (Scotland). Early settlement in Shetland was on the margin of successful medieval colonization of the North Atlantic. The Brow site is a revealing "laboratory" in which to explore the interaction of climate change and human settlement in a fragile coastal zone. A series of field trips in mainland Scotland place the Brow excavation in the wider context of settlement, environment, archeology, and the history of Scotland and the North Atlantic. Recommended background: courses in medieval history or archeology. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Not open to seniors. Not open to students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies s28. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. M. Jones.
AS/HI s25. Americans in Japan.The unit considers Americans who visited Japan since the first contact between the two nations in 1853. Focusing on the period before World War II, students examine the motivations and goals of these sojourners, and what they accomplished in their travels. Enrollment limited to 16. (East Asian.) Normally offered every year. A. Hirai.
INDS s27. The Viking World: Archeology and Ethnohistory.When the Vikings poured out of their Scandinavian homelands they transformed the early medieval world. Tales of their piracy and raiding dominate the written records of the time, but a growing volume of archeological and environmental evidence is shedding new light on the Vikings as explorers, founders of towns, traders, artisans, and specialists in northern agriculture and fishing. This unit emphasizes the findings of archeology and studies of Icelandic sagas in outlining the lifeways, historical impacts, and differing fates of the Scandinavian peoples from 800 to 1100 C.E. Cross-listed in anthropology, classical and medieval studies, and history. (Premodern.) (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. G. Bigelow.
HIST s28. Wabanaki History in Maine.The peoples of Maine known as the Wabanakis, including the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet nations, are pivotal players in Maine's history. Their early relations with Europeans shaped the colonization of the region and their more recent legal efforts to regain land and build casinos have affected everyone in the state. This unit looks at the long history of Maine's Wabanakis, examining the ways that they have adapted to, fought with, and lived alongside European invaders and their descendants. Students examine some of the ways that European-Americans' racism has erased Wabanakis' presence in the state and its history, the meanings of sovereignty in a state that still retains a great deal of influence over native peoples, and the role of environmental change in shaping Wabanakis' changing cultural practices. Students are strongly encouraged to link their final research project to contemporary Wabanaki efforts to recover their past. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every other year. J. Hall.
HIST s34. Rousseau and Jean-Jacques.Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) led a bohemian life without steady employment, settled family, or significant achievement before his late thirties. Then he suddenly became a literary celebrity by attacking more or less everything that sophisticated Frenchmen most admired: arts and letters, private property, the theater, the aristocracy, institutional schooling, the Catholic Church, the monarchy. Of course, such a life and such writings exposed him to censure and ridicule. He responded with defiant if posthumous Confessions in which he told his sad story and proclaimed his essential goodness. This unit begins with Jean-Jacques's life story and tests the historical hypothesis that Rousseau's various attacks were so many defenses of the "Dear Self." But they make him the first modern democrat. Prerequisite(s): French 202 or higher, or one of the following: Politics 191, History 223, 224 or 390c. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. J. Cole.
HIST s40. Introduction to Historical Methods.This unit provides an intensive introduction to research skills, historical literature, and the principles and methods of historical critical analysis (historiography). The unit is team-taught to acquaint students with a variety of historical assumptions and methodologies ranging from the perception of history as fiction to the belief that history is the accumulation of objective data about an ascertainable past. This unit provides important preparation for the senior thesis. Recommended background: a college-level course in history. This course is intended for history majors and is a departmental requirement. Non-majors may be accepted with instructor's permission. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. Staff.
HIST s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.