Professors J. R. Cole, Hirai, Grafflin, Jones (chair), and Creighton; Associate Professors Jensen and Hall; Assistant Professors Melvin and Foster; Lecturers Head, Bunselmeyer, and J. F. Cole
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).
Major Requirements. Majors must complete either nine courses and the mandatory Short Term unit, or eight courses, the mandatory Short Term unit (s40), 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 undertake 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 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.
Minor. The minor 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, minors 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. Minors 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 minor in history may not be taken pass/fail.
General Education Information for the Classes of 2009 and 2010. 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.) [W2] Normally offered every other year. D. O'Higgins. Concentrations
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. Enrollment limited to 48. (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. M. Jones. Concentrations
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. Enrollment limited to 48. Normally offered every year. E. Foster. Concentrations
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.) Normally offered every year. J. R. Cole. Concentrations
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 around 510 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. Not open to students who have received credit for Classical and Medieval Studies/History 107. Not open to students who have received credit for CM/HI 107. Enrollment limited to 60. (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Imber. Concentrations
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/History 107. Enrollment limited to 60. (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Imber. Concentrations
INDS 130. Food in Ancient Greece and Rome. Participants in this course study food in ancient Greece and Rome: the history of the food supply for agrarian and urban populations; malnutrition, its probable impact on ancient economies, and its uneven impact on populations; famine; the symbolism of the heroic banquet—a division of the sacrificial animal among ranked members of society, and between men and gods; cuisine and delicacies of the rich; forbidden food; the respective roles of men and women in food production, and their unequal access to food supply; dietary transgression; and sacred food. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, history, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Classical and Medieval Studies s28. Normally offered every other year. D. O'Higgins. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
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. Enrollment limited to 48. Normally offered every other year. M. Creighton. Concentrations
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.
AS/HI 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. Not open to students who have received credit for History 171. (East Asian.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. D. Grafflin. Concentrations
AS/HI 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. Not open to students who have received credit for History 172. Enrollment limited to 48. (East Asian.) (Premodern.) Normally offered every year. A. Hirai. Concentrations
AS/HI 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. (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. Concentrations
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.) Normally offered every other year. J. R. Cole. Concentrations
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. Enrollment limited to 40. (Premodern.) Normally offered every other year. M. Jones. Concentrations
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. Enrollment limited to 40. (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
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. [W2] Normally offered every other year. J. R. Cole. Concentrations
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. R. Cole. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
HIST 242. Britain in the Twentieth Century.This course narrates the development of British politics and society from 1900 into the 1990s. Special attention is given to Britain during the two world wars; the demise of Liberalism and the rise of Labour; the development of the British economy and the evolution of class consciousness; the end of overseas empire; and the relations of the English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh among themselves and with immigrants from the British Empire and Commonwealth. Sources include history, novels, and film. Offered with varying frequency. R. Bunselmeyer.
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. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
AC/HI 248. Back East, Down South, Out West: Regions in American Culture.This course examines American regions as they have emerged as cultural entities from the eighteenth century to the present. Its primary texts are grounded in contemporary scholarship in history and cultural geography and in popular literature, film, music, and architecture. Students investigate the intersection of demographic and economic history with cultural invention. Beginning with a focus on "olde" New England and continuing with a study of the cultural power of the "wild" West, students devote considerable attention to the "deep" South to understand how region mediates the identities and experiences associated with race, class, and gender difference. Prerequisite(s): History 141 or 243. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
HIST 263. Totalitarian Europe: Nazi Germany and Stalin's USSR.This course explores the nature of totalitarianism through a comparison of the regimes of Hitler and Stalin. It pays particular attention to how these states elicited compliance through physical coercion, psychological manipulation, and cultural initiatives. The reading list features a variety of primary source testimony, literature, and secondary sources. The course includes a close investigation of the Holocaust and Stalin's purges. Recommended background: History 140. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. E. Foster. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
AS/HI 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. Not open to students who have received credit for History 274. (East Asian.) Normally offered every year. D. Grafflin. Concentrations
AS/HI 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. Not open to students who have received credit for History 276. Open to first-year students. (East Asian.) Normally offered every other year. A. Hirai. Concentrations
AS/HI 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 277 or 390A. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. (East Asian.) Offered with varying frequency. A. Hirai. Concentrations
AS/HI 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 a contemporary leading role in foreign trade. Not open to students who have received credit for History 278. Open to first-year students. (East Asian.) Normally offered every other year. D. Grafflin. Concentrations
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.Most areas of Latin America gained their independence from Spain or Portugal during the early nineteenth century, but were these political transformations accompanied by equally great social, economic, or cultural change? This course explores not just the struggles to overthrow colonial powers, but also what it meant to live in the decades surrounding these tumultuous events. The first Latin American novel, The Mangy Parrot, provides the basis for part of the exploration, and topics covered include debates over citizenship in the new nations, education, family, and daily life. (Latin American.) Offered with varying frequency. K. Melvin. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
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 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 exhibit, educational, and walking-tour materials for the Lewiston-Auburn community. The goal is both to understand the importance of the past in community life and to contribute to the local community's historical consciousness. Prerequisite(s): History s40 or American Cultural Studies 220. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every year. D. Scobey. Concentrations
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. Recommended background: History 104 or 224. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every other year. J. R. 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. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Premodern.) [W2] Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones. Concentrations
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. [W2] Normally offered every other year. J. Hall. Concentrations
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. Instructor permission is required. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
AS/HI 390G. East Asia: Crimes of Modernity.Modernization came to East Asia in a context of violence. The academic abstractions of imperialism, colonialism, revolution, and civil war were experienced on the ground as shattering transgressions and transformations of the traditional social, political, and economic orders, generating shock waves that continue to spread. This seminar proposes as a model researcher the homicide detective, working to build an explanatory context around deadly ruptures of civilized existence. Prerequisite(s): Asian Studies/History 171, 172, 173, 274, 276, 277, or 278. Enrollment limited to 15. (East Asian.) [W2] Normally offered every other year. D. Grafflin.
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 postrevolutionary government, and the influence of the United States. Recommended background: History 181. Enrollment limited to 15. (Latin American.) [W2] Offered with varying frequency. K. Melvin. Concentrations
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. Instructor permission is required. (Premodern.) [W2] Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones. Concentrations
HIST 390K. Modern European Colonialism and Its Critics.The European conquest of vast empires was one of the pivotal developments in world history in the modern era. This seminar aims to give students a nuanced understanding of European colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through a study of history, literature, and film. The course explores a variety of questions: Why and how did Europeans build empires? How did indigenous peoples shape colonial encounters? What kinds of societies developed in European colonies? How did a person's race and gender affect his or her experience in these societies? Who criticized colonialism and why? What are the legacies of colonialism in Europe and its former colonies? Recommended background: History 104. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every other year. E. Foster. Concentrations
HIST 390N. The First World War and the Making of the Twentieth Century.The Great War of 1914–1918 brought the "long nineteenth century" (1789–1914) to a close and gave rise to new orders, new conflicts, and new ideas that reshaped Europe and the wider world in the twentieth century. Students use a variety of primary and secondary sources to study the origins, the experience, and the aftermath of this hitherto unimaginably bloody conflict. Students examine testimony and scholarship dealing with a variety of locations, including the Western Front, the Eastern Front, the homefronts, and Europe's colonial empires. The final unit of the course focuses on the far-reaching legacies of the war, including the effects of violence on society and culture, popular and official memory of the conflict, as well as the peace settlement and the tensions it provoked in Europe and its colonies. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. E. Foster. Concentrations
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. [W2] Normally offered every other year. H. Jensen. Concentrations
HI/WS 390Q. A Woman's Place: Gender and Geography in the United States, 1800–Present.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. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/WS 252. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
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's 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.) [W2] Normally offered every other year. M. Imber. Concentrations
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. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. J. Hall. Concentrations
AS/HI 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. Not open to students who have received credit for History 390T. Enrollment limited to 15. (East Asian.) [W2] Normally offered every other year. A. Hirai. Concentrations
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. (Latin American.) [W2] Offered with varying frequency. K. Melvin. Concentrations
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. [W2] Normally offered every other year. H. Jensen. Concentrations
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.Were witches and heretics really tortured in the Spanish Inquisition's infamous jails? This course examines both the institution of the Spanish Inquisition and the lives of those who came before it. The sins that concerned the Inquisition depended on the time and place, and the crimes prosecuted in sixteenth-century Spain or eighteenth-century New Spain reveal a great deal about early modern (ca. 1500-1800) culture and society. Students read and analyze original Inquisition cases from Spain and New Spain as well as consider the ways historians have used cases to investigate topics such as sexuality and marriage, witchcraft, and the persecution of Jews and Muslims. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. K. Melvin. Concentrations
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. [W3] 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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.Short Term Courses
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. Concentrations
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. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 364. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
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 students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies s28. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones. Concentrations
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 20. (East Asian.) Normally offered every year. A. Hirai. Concentrations
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. Concentrations
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. R. 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. Nonmajors may be accepted with instructor permission. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. Staff.
HIST s41. Introduction to Archives and Archival Science.This unit explores the history and significance of archives and archival records in our society, specifically how they shape the writing and remembering of history. The unit includes an overview of record-making and -keeping practices from antiquity to the present and introduces students to the fundamental aspects of the archival profession, such as appraisal, acquisitions, arrangement, description, preservation, reference, and access. Class discussions of archival theory are paired with a practicum allowing students the opportunity to accession, arrange, describe, and publish online the holdings of a local historical association. Field trips to one or more archival repositories are scheduled. Recommended background: History s40. Enrollment limited to 10. Offered with varying frequency. K. Stefko.
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.