Courses

AFR 203 Imagining Africa Through Film

In 2022 the films The Woman King and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever present divergent perspectives on Africa and Africans, with one centering a historical account of a West African Kingdom and the other presenting a fictional presentation of the continent. These films are the newest addition to a canon of Hollywood films that have “imagined” the continent for American viewers for almost 100 years. In this course students will view films about Africa and then use historical materials to interrogate the ways the American studio system crafted an image of the continent that is both ahistorical and anachronistic. As a class we will struggle with how our perceptions of time, space, and history are created, and consider what possible purpose(s) these fictions of Africa serve. This course is an approved elective for the History and Africana Studies majors and minors and the Film and Documentary Studies minor.

AFR 228 Black Women and Modern America

This course introduces students to the significant themes and events that have shaped African American women’s historical experience from slavery to the present. Students examine the social, political, and economic meaning of freedom for women of African descent. Furthermore, students explore how Black women shaped the cultural, social, and political development of the United States as Black Feminists, Nationalists, Integrationists.

ANTH 215 Death and Burial in Ancient Rome

This course will examine the historical and archaeological aspects of death and burial in the Roman world from c. 150 BCE – 300 CE, in order to understand how the Romans cared for, disposed of, and commemorated the dead. We will explore culturally-specific attitudes to death, grief, mourning and funerals, alongside the physical monuments that commemorate the deceased. Geographically, we will focus on Italy, although case studies will span the Mediterranean world. Together, we will investigate Roman funerary rituals and follow the body on its journey from the world of the living to that of the dead, while exploring new narratives about death in different classes of ancient (and modern) society.

CMS 215 Death and Burial in Ancient Rome

This course will examine the historical and archaeological aspects of death and burial in the Roman world from c. 150 BCE – 300 CE, in order to understand how the Romans cared for, disposed of, and commemorated the dead. We will explore culturally-specific attitudes to death, grief, mourning and funerals, alongside the physical monuments that commemorate the deceased. Geographically, we will focus on Italy, although case studies will span the Mediterranean world. Together, we will investigate Roman funerary rituals and follow the body on its journey from the world of the living to that of the dead, while exploring new narratives about death in different classes of ancient (and modern) society.

FYS 468 Beyond Nelson Mandela: Themes and Personalities in South African History

Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 after more than three centuries of white dominance. Today, he is considered the greatest African leader of the twentieth century. This popular perception, born of Mandela’s charisma after walking out of jail and becoming president, cuts out many actors and events in the history of South Africa. This course introduces students to these obscured actors and events. It begins by exploring the encounter between Europeans and Africans, then examines the institutionalization of the apartheid state, and concludes by studying the reactions to, and defeat of, the apartheid state.

FYS 490 The History of Persistence: American Women’s Protest, 1840-2020

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, giving most American women the right to vote. It also marks the year when several women competed for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Using these events as bookends, this course explores the history of American women’s public protest, from the nineteenth-century suffrage movement to the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, to “Me Too” and the political campaigns of the last five years. Students consider the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, class, and age in their discussions, and approach the topic by analyzing primary sources, debating historical interpretations, reviewing scholarly literature, and completing an oral history of a veteran protester. OFFERED REMOTELY

FYS 513 Out of Order: Justice and Injustice in World Legal Histories

Disputes are universal; resolution, punishment, and enforcement, however, are as diverse as humanity itself. This course looks beyond American-centered understandings to investigate the deep history of law across space and time. Students explore legal cosmologies, the friction between codes and the messy world of corrupt judges and litigious peasants, the legal orders of smugglers and mafia, and the conflict between indigenous customary law and the systems of settler colonial societies. They grapple with a set of questions centered on relations of power: Do legal orders buttress hierarchies? Or can they be mobilized by marginalized peoples to assert rights long denied?

FYS 529 Ages of Plagues

Beginning with the Black Death in the seventeenth century and concluding with COVID-19, this course integrates short presentations on epidemiology with discussions of cultural history. Writing is a feature of the course, and students produce analytic, argumentative, creative, and critical work for various audiences. A culminating paper integrates course insights with personal responses to COVID-19. Diseases discussed include the bubonic plague, cholera, 1918 Influenza, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19.

FYS 541 This Land Is Whose Land?

Maine is renowned for its public lands, whether national parks like Acadia or smaller parcels owned and managed by local nonprofit land trusts. But what does it mean that these are Indigenous places? This course explores how Native peoples have long contested their expulsion from the “public” lands that Americans have created through colonization. Students learn how Wabanaki — the collective name for the Native peoples of northern New England and the Canadian Maritimes — are working to regain rights to their homeland. Much of this work is occurring in partnership with local land trusts, which are largely run by non-Natives. Students may have the opportunity to work with some of these groups to support their efforts to decolonize Wabanaki places. One or two required field trips off campus are scheduled on a Saturday; students with weekend commitments should consider this schedule when registering.

FYS 545 Inventing New England: The World of the Wyeth Family

What is New England? It seems easy to point to the territory on a map, but it is more than geography – it is an imagined region defined by politicians, cultural elites, marketing strategists, among others. How has the construction of New England changed? Who and what has been included and excluded? How does New England differ from other imagined regions, particularly the American West? Students analyze historical scholarship, fiction, and film to address these questions. Most significantly, though, this course uses a unique lens to explore the meaning of New England: the Wyeths (N.C., Andrew, and Jamie), the most influential family of American painters in the twentieth century. What did their New England look like? Throughout the course, visiting scholar (and Bates alumna) Victoria Browning Wyeth helps address this question. Students work with primary source material, including paintings, to produce essays, make presentations, and produce a peer-reviewed research paper.

FYS 553 Refugee Narratives, Refugee Experiences

In 1943, Jewish refugee and scholar Hannah Arendt linked the fate of refugees with peace in Europe, arguing that it “went to pieces when, and because, it allowed its weakest member to be excluded and persecuted” (“We Refugees,” 274). This course examines the “refugee” since the eighteenth century, focusing on the histories of European Jews from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. Students read first-person accounts, media, and government documents, as well as scholarly articles about refugees from a variety of disciplines. Our aim is to investigate the historical contexts of refugee crises, including the experiences of the individuals and communities at the base of refugee crises. In this effort, we will start to see these experiences as shaped by the dynamic – and often fraught – efforts to end these crises and find workable solutions.

GSS 228 Black Women and Modern America

This course introduces students to the significant themes and events that have shaped African American women’s historical experience from slavery to the present. Students examine the social, political, and economic meaning of freedom for women of African descent. Furthermore, students explore how Black women shaped the cultural, social, and political development of the United States as Black Feminists, Nationalists, Integrationists.

GSS 301D Regulating Intimacy: Histories of the Labor of Sex in North America

In 1875, the United States signed into law the first restrictive federal immigration law that prohibited Chinese Women “imported for the purpose of prostitution.” The Act’s enforcement hinged on the suspicion of all immigrant Chinese women were sex workers at the border. By the turn of the twentieth century, government surveillance of women’s sexual lives extended beyond Chinese women and other immigrant groups into the interior of the United States with passage of the 1910 Mann Act that made it a felony to transport “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution.” The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was the government agency responsible for enforcing the act. This course explores the intertwined ways labor, morals, and gender policing worked at the boundaries of North America to erase women’s sexual labor. Organized regionally, the course will explore sex work across Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

HIST 100 African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal

This team-taught course introduces students to some of the experiences, cultural beliefs, values, and voices shaping contemporary Africa. Students focus on the impact of climatic, cultural, and geopolitical diversity; the politics of ethnicity, religion, age, race, and gender and their influence on daily life; and the forces behind contemporary policy and practice in Africa. The course forges students’ critical capacity to resist simplistic popular understandings of what is taking place on the continent and works to refocus their attention on distinctively “African perspectives.” Students design a research project to augment their knowledge about a specific issue within a particular region. The course is primarily for first- and second-year students with little critical knowledge of Africa and serves as the introduction to the General Education concentration Considering Africa (C022).

HIST 101 Introduction to the Ancient World

A study of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, this course is the introduction to European history in the Department of History and is a fundamental course in the Program in Classical and Medieval Studies. It addresses themes and events extending from the eighth century B.C.E. until the second century C.E. Students consider the disciplines that comprise study of classical antiquity, engage with primary texts (literary, graphic, and epigraphical), and learn how ancient history has come to be written as it has been.

HIST 102 Medieval Worlds

Far from being an “enormous hiccup” in human progress, the medieval centuries (ca. 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.

HIST 104 Revolutionary Europe and Its Legacies, 1789 to Yesterday

This course examines European revolutions and their legacies—social, cultural, political, and ideological. The French Revolution of 1789 brought unprecedented promises of reform to old Europe, introducing new democratic and egalitarian possibilities. Yet it also brought counterrevolution and new authoritarian rulers, a cycle that seemed to repeat itself in 1848, “the first time as tragedy, the second as farce,” as Karl Marx lamented. We consider these revolutions together with the Communist uprisings waged in Marx’s name, the “velvet” revolutions of 1989, and the relationship between these last European revolutions and the populism that engulfs the continent today. We investigate these histories as lenses to understand the dynamics of modern revolution; the engagement of ordinary Europeans in these processes; and, not least, the making of modern Europe over the past 300 years.

HIST 105 Africa: Special Topics in African History, 1500-1900

For many observers, the history of Africa begins with European colonization. What about the period prior to colonization? This introductory survey of African history from 1500 to 1900 covers the social, political, cultural, and economic life of sub-Saharan peoples. Topics include African kingdoms, the transatlantic and the Indian ocean slave trades, the expansion of European power after the abolition of the slave trade, Islamic reforms, and the spread of Christianity. The course not only introduces students to a range of historical events in the continent, but also highlights how some of these events shaped other parts of the world.

HIST 107 Race, Reception, and the Modern Creation of the Ancient and Medieval Past

This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which the study of the classical and medieval worlds has been constructed alongside, and as an integral part of, modern systems of colonialism, racism and white supremacy. It aims, likewise, to introduce students to the ways in which the distant past, so constructed, continues to inform the contemporary world, both as a locus of oppression and of resistance. The course will, therefore, present students with the tools necessary to understand and critique these fields of study, as well as help them to more critically view the way they understand the past and the present.

HIST 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.

HIST 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: CM/HI 108.

HIST 110 East Asia between Tradition and Modernity

China, Japan, and Korea each had a watershed moment in which they transformed into modern, independent nations. This course first provides an introduction to traditional cultures, and then explores the violent changes that swept over East Asia from the mid-nineteenth century through the Chinese Civil War and the destruction of World War II. Imperialism, women’s movements, and cultural nationalism are examined through an interdisciplinary approach that draws from intellectual history, literature, and visual and performing arts.

HIST 112 Ancient Greek History

This course examines Greece from the Bronze Age to Alexander. It focuses on the geographical breadth and temporal extent of “Ancient Greece,” and how that considerable space and time were negotiated and understood by the Greeks themselves. In such a far-flung world, extending from Sicily to Ionia, from the Black Sea to North Africa, Greeks experienced “Hellenicity” through sea lanes and land routes, and by means of a network of religious festivals and athletic meets, coordinated among multiple civic calendars. Topics include political structures, philosophies, literature, and modes of warfare.

HIST 114 Introduction to Classical Archaeology

Physical remains from the ancient world – from Troy to Athens to Rome – are important for reconstructing daily life in past societies. The goal of the course is to familiarize you with the archaeology of the ancient Greco-Roman world and the social contexts that gave rise to important sites, monuments, and objects. We will use archaeology and material culture as a lens to explore Greek and Roman society, values, political and religious institutions. We will examine critically how Greek and Roman sites and monuments have been appropriated over the centuries by different groups and why these sites continue to fascinate archaeologists, collectors, and the general public millennia later.

HIST 140 Origins of New Nations, 1500-1820

In the three centuries after Europeans’ and Africans’ first arrival among Indigenous Americans, a variety of peoples from America, Africa, and Europe constructed new societies in North America. Some of these new societies became nation-states like the United States and Mexico. Others, like the Iroquois, Kongolese, and British, were reconfigurations of societies that predated the beginnings of colonization. These new nations were shaped by a number of factors, including empires and families, liberty and enslavement. All of them were collective efforts to manage new dynamics of confrontation and cooperation. By examining a variety of sources, students learn how a host of peoples created a new world that has strong ties to our own.

HIST 141 Rise of the American Empire

During the nineteenth century, the United States experienced one of the most dramatic political transformations in world history, rising from an imperiled post-revolutionary state to become a global empire. This course examines the diverse experiences of those who lived through this era of dizzying change and confronted the forces that shaped a restless nation: slavery, capitalism, patriarchy, expansionism, urbanization, industrialization, and total warfare. Whether fighting for recognition or resisting the encroaching state, they struggled over the very meaning of American nationhood. The outcome was ambiguous; its legacy is still being contested today.

HIST 142 The United States 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.

HIST 171 Imperial China

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.

HIST 181 Creating Latin America: A History

Beginning with the lead up to 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, texts, and film to explore major themes of the course, including conquest and colonialism, independence and the creation of new nations, and twentieth-century social revolutions and military dictatorships. Special attention is given to issues of race, gender, religion, and relationships with the United States.

HIST 203 Imagining Africa Through Film

In 2022 the films The Woman King and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever present divergent perspectives on Africa and Africans, with one centering a historical account of a West African Kingdom and the other presenting a fictional presentation of the continent. These films are the newest addition to a canon of Hollywood films that have “imagined” the continent for American viewers for almost 100 years. In this course students will view films about Africa and then use historical materials to interrogate the ways the American studio system crafted an image of the continent that is both ahistorical and anachronistic. As a class we will struggle with how our perceptions of time, space, and history are created, and consider what possible purpose(s) these fictions of Africa serve. This course is an approved elective for the History and Africana Studies majors and minors and the Film and Documentary Studies minor.

HIST 206 The Empire Strikes Back: The Ends of European Empires in the Twentieth Century

In 1927, Katherine Mayo wrote a scathing report on public health and religious custom in India; the study was meant to support British rule as a modernizing force. Indian women, among others, responded immediately, tacking carefully between outrage at Mayo’s argument for imperial oversight and desires for reform. The battles for and against European empires included battlefields and soldiers. As this course underscores, however, the logics of empire and anti-imperialism were deeply entwined in ideas about how those under imperial rule should live, as well. Such rationales underwrote social incursion; condensing visions drove resistance movements, too. As we will see, the makings of many of these campaigns began as early as the rise of modern European empires themselves. We focus on the British Empire, and India and Ireland especially, while taking close stock of what would become a truly global anti-colonial wave in the twentieth century.

HIST 210 Technology in U.S. History

Surveys the development, distribution, and use of technology in the United States drawing on primary and secondary source material. Subjects treated include racialized and gendered divisions of labor, militarism and colonial dispossession, and the ecological consequences of technological change.

HIST 211 U.S. Environmental 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 Native Americans’ 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.

HIST 212 Digital History Methods

Through a combination of analytical, experiential, and collaborative exercises, students merge traditional historical methods with digital tools to explore new useful methodologies for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating historical knowledge. They develop technical and theoretical proficiency within the broader field of digital humanities. They engage digital tools and resources to rethink old historical questions. They develop with new questions that can be investigated only through digital practice. They contemplate avenues for collaboration between historical research and public communities. Finally, they weigh the practical and theoretical implications of using digital history to create more inclusive scholarship.

HIST 215 Death and Burial in Ancient Rome

This course will examine the historical and archaeological aspects of death and burial in the Roman world from c. 150 BCE – 300 CE, in order to understand how the Romans cared for, disposed of, and commemorated the dead. We will explore culturally-specific attitudes to death, grief, mourning and funerals, alongside the physical monuments that commemorate the deceased. Geographically, we will focus on Italy, although case studies will span the Mediterranean world. Together, we will investigate Roman funerary rituals and follow the body on its journey from the world of the living to that of the dead, while exploring new narratives about death in different classes of ancient (and modern) society.

HIST 216 Conflict and Community in Medieval Spain

Medieval Spain was a crossroads where the civilizations of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism met, mingled, and fought. Diverse and dynamic societies emerged, and from this climate of both tension and cooperation came a cultural and intellectual flowering that remains a hallmark of human achievement. Using a wide range of primary sources, this course focuses particularly on two key concepts in Spanish history: the Reconquista and the Convivencia. To examine these, students investigate the nature of conflict in medieval Spain and the ways in which those who lived there constructed and understood their communities.

HIST 217 Fortress Europe: Race, Migration, and Difference in European History

Race in Europe has seemed to be a 20th-century importation, the product of new migrations from the “outposts” of European empires in the wake of WWII. The “migrant crisis” of the present era doubles down on this sense of racial, ethnic, and religious difference as externally imposed. This account has served as a comforting narrative, just as it’s been intended to fuel reaction. In this course, we examine changing views on racial, ethnic, and religious differences in European thought and politics since the eighteenth century. In contrast to populist claims, there has been a long history of European difference-making — of “othering” along racial, ethnic, and religious lines that has produced a seemingly white and Christian European identity. Together, we will situate our investigation of difference-making alongside primary sources and recent scholarship which highlight the experiences of the individuals who built their lives and communities in the midst.

HIST 220 The Medieval Year

This course explores daily life and community in the Middle Ages through festivals, holidays, and marking the passage of the seasons. First, students are introduced to the format of both the natural and ritual year, and how individuals and groups responded to environmental factors. Second, they consider the role of such seasonal rituals as a means of creating social cohesion and coercion. Medieval festivals and holidays were not just fun: they frequently sought to impose specific visions of social and religious order on participants (and those who were excluded). Third, students reflect on how holidays and communal rituals still have power to shape community, identity, and belonging in contemporary society. The course helps students learn about medieval religious and cultural practices in a critical manner; while focusing on Christian traditions, they also consider Jewish and Muslim customs in a broader European context. Recommended background: prior coursework on the pre-modern world.

HIST 228 Black Women and Modern America

This course introduces students to the significant themes and events that have shaped African American women’s historical experience from slavery to the present. Students examine the social, political, and economic meaning of freedom for women of African descent. Furthermore, students explore how Black women shaped the cultural, social, and political development of the United States as Black Feminists, Nationalists, Integrationists.

HIST 236 Race Matters: Tobacco in North America

This course explores race and the history of tobacco in North America. With a primary focus on the intersection of tobacco capitalism and African American history, the course introduces students to the impact of tobacco on the formation of racial ideologies and lived experiences through a consideration of economic, cultural, political, and epidemiological history. Recommended background: at least one course in Africana, African American history, American studies, or gender and sexuality studies.

HIST 244 Native American History

A survey of Native American peoples from the centuries just before 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 Indigenous American writers.

HIST 245 Race, Gender, and Power in the Early Modern Atlantic World

This course approaches Atlantic history through the lens of race, gender, and power. In the early modern world, the Protestant Reformation, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the rise of the plantation complex, the substantial depopulation of west and central Africa, and indigenous genocide in the Americas significantly reshaped social orders and the meaning of the most salient categories of difference. This course examines the imposition of these categories from above and how socially marginalized groups pushed back against colonial racial, gender, and sexual economies throughout the Atlantic world and in particular societies, including Mexico, Virginia, Barbados, Ghana, and the Congo.

HIST 253 Dance Histories of the United States

Dance History invites students into creative and critical engagement with history and historiography by examining dance and performance topics and theories. This course encourages students to research aesthetic and conceptual lineage and influence in concert and commercial dance forms in the United States by considering contemporary and historic choreographies and dance artists. In researching various histories of modern, jazz, street styles, ballet, and indigenous forms, students will gain insight into a multitude of embodied expressions in africanist, europeanist, and indigenous traditions. Students will be asked to engage their curiosity and question the role that dance history plays in developing collective and individual creativity and ingenuity, as well as in resisting and/or reifying notions of power, hierarchy, and privilege in contemporary societies. Course content will include regular reading, writing, personal reflection, viewing assignments, and presentations.

HIST 257 African American Women’s History and Social Transformation

This course examines the political, social, and cultural traditions created by Black women from slavery to the present. Students consider their transformative influence on major questions and social movements. Through novels, plays, autobiography, music, and nonfiction produced by and about Black women, students explore a range of intellectual and cultural traditions. Recommended background: one course in gender and sexuality studies and/or one course in Africana.

HIST 259 Caravans, Khans, and Commissars: A History of Central Eurasia

From Silk Roads to Chinggis Khan, an understanding of our world-and an appreciation for the diversity of human experience-calls for examining Central Eurasia. This course covers millennia and journeys through steppe, desert, and mountain, from Mongolia to Hungary, to reveal the ways Central Eurasia and its peoples have shaped world history. Key topics include the emergence of pastoral economies, steppe-sown interactions, the exchange of both goods and ideas, and the rise of empire as well as Central Eurasia’s modern fate. Students consider these issues by examining scholarship and exciting primary sources, including epic poetry, art, and novels.

HIST 264 A People’s History of American Capitalism

Capitalism has been a powerful engine of prosperity and disruption from the founding of the United States to the present day, but its advantages and disadvantages have not been shared equally by those whose fortunes it has indelibly shaped. Tracing more than two centuries of development and growth, this course emphasizes the social dimensions of economic transformation, centering race, gender, and ethnicity as categories integral to understanding capitalism as both a productive and destructive force in American history.

HIST 266 Magic and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages

For many, “medieval” is simply another word for “superstition” and the Middle Ages were consumed by delusion punctuated with witch trials. This course instead focuses on religious and folk practices beyond orthodox Christianity in the Middle Ages, to understand the realities of “magical” practice and supernatural beliefs during the period and move away from misconceptions based on Enlightenment polemic and modern fantasy. Students discover the variety of beliefs associated with the concepts of magic and supernatural and come to understand that these concepts were not always seen as evil, or even wrong, by contemporaries. Students consider the differences between how learned and unlearned magic were perceived and the gender dynamics at the heart of this dichotomy. They explore the syncretic relationship between medieval Christianity and paganism and other traditional beliefs, as well as the overlap between “magic” and primitive science. Recommended background: prior coursework on the pre-modern world.

HIST 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 commodification of human bodies and body parts; racial, colonial, and gendered disparities in science and medicine; and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or gender and sexuality studies.

HIST 268 US Latinx History: From Empire to Detentions

This course introduces students to the history of Latinx Americans drawing on the distinct experiences of Puerto Ricans, Chicanxs/Mexicanxs, Dominican Americans, Central Americans, and Cuban Americans. The course underscores international processes (imperialism and immigration) as central forces in the formation of U.S. Latinx communities. This global perspective accompanies a focus on the relationship between Latinx culture and American society, the dynamic role of women in the shaping of Latinx American communities, and origins and place of Latin American-origin immigrants in U.S. society.

HIST 270 Globalization and Empire: From Madrid to Manila

The world became permanently connected during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. While some have identified the origins of this globalization in Europe, the Spanish empire offers a different perspective. The ties of empire were forged throughout its vast territories: from Madrid to Manila. This course considers questions of identity and belonging in it, including for “old Christian” Spaniards, recent Jewish converts to Christianity, Muslims, Africans and their descendants, and indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Philippines. It also takes up questions of imperial scale, including global commerce, royal authority, and how people, knowledge, and beliefs moved throughout empire.

HIST 272 Revolution! Debating Mexico

The first major social upheaval of the twentieth century, the Mexican Revolution included clashes of ideologies as well as armies. Students take on these debates by assuming the roles of historical figures. They argue and decide the most pressing issues of the day, such as land reform, voting rights, and educational policies, all while trying to achieve their own objectives. Topically, the course begins with the conditions and events leading to the overthrow of President Porfirio Díaz in 1910, continues through the course of a bloody civil war, questions over how to build a new society, and the divisive institutionalization of a “revolutionary” one-party state. It concludes with ways that the revolution has been remembered, including in art and film.

HIST 273 US Immigration: From the “Uprooted” to the Rise of the Immigration Regime

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” encapsulates the belief that the United States is a nation of immigrants, yet that can be an oversimplification of a deeply complex issue. This course explores the various reasons people migrate, acculturate, and what it means to be an “American” and an immigrant. Students review immigration records to examine how issues of poverty, sexual orientation, gender, race, and political affiliation affected how people “breathe free” and navigated the US immigration regime from the late-nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

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.

HIST 275 China in the World

This course focuses on China’s connections to the world from ancient times to the present, emphasizing the formal and informal relationships that have linked the peoples of China to peoples and places beyond the Chinese frontiers. A varied array of primary sources reveals elements of foreign relations, transnational and international connections, and local experiences of global phenomena while addressing topics such as Sino-Japanese relations before and after World War II, imperialism’s role in shaping places like Hong Kong and Macao, cold war politics in Africa, and Chinese diasporic communities across the Pacific Ocean.

HIST 276 Saints, Ships, and Sultans: The Horn of Africa in the Middle Ages

The Horn of Africa represents one of the great crossroads of the world, connecting the Red Sea and Mediterranean worlds with those of the Indian Ocean. In the medieval period, the region flourished, with its history and society shaped by religion, trade, and politics. Christian states of Ethiopia sought both to pursue an independent expression of their faith and link themselves with the wider Christian world. Muslim states in Somalia sought political definition and economic power in a booming interconnected global community. Community-engaged learning sits at the core of this course.

HIST 279 The Age of Revolution: Latin American Edition

During the decades surrounding the turn of the nineteenth century, uprisings in the Americas challenged colonial authority. This course examines some of those uprisings in the Spanish Americas, including the 1780s Tupac Amaru Rebellion-the deadliest and perhaps most violent rebellion in the Americas up until that time-and the wars that eventually led to independence. Students also discuss what it was like to live during the time of these tumultuous events. The first Latin American novel, The Mangy Parrot, provides the basis for exploring topics that include race, gender, crime, and daily life.

HIST 280 Health and Healing in Africa

A perception that Africa is a “diseased continent” has long persisted in the West, but this image, born of colonialism, ignores how Africans have sought to create and maintain healthy communities over time. This course begins by exploring how Africans have diagnosed and treated ailments in the precolonial era. It then examines the impact of colonial conquest and policies on the spread of diseases, and the emergence of missionary and colonial medicines. The course concludes by examining how state building, international development, and transnational capitalism have shaped healing practices.

HIST 281 Upstairs, Downstairs, and Outside: Gender, Class, and the Household in British History

If the home was the “Englishman’s castle,” its walls were porous. Liberal culture called for separating private from public life, yet households were key sites for negotiating classed, gendered, and racial relationships. Fear that family units might break down spurred social movements and governmental reform. Modern life tends to be understood as the rise of the presumptively white, male individual, someone independent of his surroundings. By flipping the script, this course demonstrates the centrality of women, family, and community in defining and redefining society. Topics explored include work, motherhood, property rights, and the everyday life of politics, capitalism, and empire.

HIST 287 History of East Africa

Scholars have long subscribed to the myth that East Africa has “historically been detached from the world.” However, the region’s engagements with the rest of the world date back almost a millennium. This course seeks to correct the common misconception and introduce students to the rich histories of this less-understood region of the world. Using a variety of primary and secondary source materials, the course begins with an examination of East Africa’s roles in world history before European colonization. It then turns to case studies and examines the changes that came with colonization, the rise of nationalism and decolonization, and finally the post-independence challenges in the region.

HIST 289 The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

This course examines the trans-Atlantic slave trade from its initial development in the fifteenth century to its abolition in the late nineteenth century. Students discuss the experiences of enslaved people; the organization and mechanics of the trade; and the cultural, political, and economic impact of the trade on Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Ultimately, the course emphasizes the global interconnections and relationships central to the development, maintenance, and abolition of the trade.

HIST 291 Colonization and Resistance in Late Antique North Africa

While treated by some scholars as peripheral, North Africa was and is a central arena in global history. This course examines the Maghreb in the dynamic period of transformation that saw the Roman Empire devolve into separate political and social entities, ca.200-700 C.E. In these critical centuries, North Africa and North Africans served both as anchors preserving Roman culture and society, and key agents in its transformation and devolution. Approaching the topic through primary and secondary sources, this course focuses on key themes: colonization and resistance, ethnicity and identity, and cultural and social cohesion. Recommended background: CM/HI 102.

HIST 292 The Dawn of the Middle Ages

The period of Mediterranean history stretching from ca. 300 to ca. 700 C.E. saw both change and continuity, radical transformation and sociocultural resiliency. Often maligned as the “Dark Ages,” this period has attracted a great deal of scholarship, and looms large in the construction of modern national identities. The central question is not only how the ancient world became the medieval, and what that meant, but how and why this understanding has changed over the years, and why it matters. This course examines the period through the analysis of primary sources, key secondary sources, and historiography. Recommended background: CM/HI 102.

HIST 293 Trans-Saharan Africa in the Middle Ages

This course examines the history of the trans-Saharan world in the medieval period, roughly 500-1500 C.E.This vital period saw the formation of powerful indigenous empires in the West African Sahel and the Maghreb, alongside the continuation and transformation of ancient states on the Nile. The course examines key topics such as the spread and adaptation of Islam in Africa; the dynamics of state and society building; the social, cultural, and economic impacts of trade; colonization and resistance; and the role of Africa, and Africans, in the creation of the medieval world. Recommended background: CM/HI 102.

HIST 294 The Revolutionary Black Atlantic, 1770-1840

Between 1770 and 1837 Africans and African Americans reconfigured the economic and political relations of the Atlantic world. Drawing on long traditions of resistance to slavery as well as the power of their growing populations, Africans and African Americans turned revolts begun by and for white people into wars for Black liberation. This course examines how the U.S. War of Independence, the Haitian Revolution, and wars for Latin American independence are integrally connected to African and African American history. Students consider the ways Africans and African Americans achieved the goals that inspired their actions.

HIST 295 Montezuma’s Mexico: Aztecs and their World

The Aztec state encompassed millions of people, featured a capital whose size and towering pyramids left the first Spanish visitors in awe, and developed a culture that continues to influence contemporary Mexico. Yet Aztecs are more often remembered for their cannibalism than their complex civilization. This course examines the Aztec world: what it was like to live under Aztec rule, how society was organized, what people believed about how the cosmos worked, and why Aztecs practiced ritual human sacrifice.

HIST 301H Slavery in Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was an enslaving society, yet what little we know about slaves comes largely from the members of the social elite who wrote about slaves in literary and legal sources. How do we recover the lives and experiences of enslaved individuals? This course aims to understand the condition of slavery in the ancient Roman world from a variety of perspectives using methods and theories from social history and archaeology. Key topics include how individuals became enslaved; the treatment of slaves; the coercion and control of slaves; slave resistance; the family life of slaves; manumission and other paths to freedom; the material culture associated with Roman slaves. This seminar will include a mix of short lectures and discussions, as well as both oral and written assignments. Prerequisites: Any premodern CMS or HIST course

HIST 299 White Supremacy: An American History

Shaped by early conflicts with native populations and the expansion of African slavery, ideologies of white supremacy have been powerful sociopolitical forces in the making of the United States. At the same time, the concept of “whiteness” has been unstable throughout the nation’s history. It has been challenged by immigration patterns and changing ideas about race, ethnicity, and citizenship. Covering more than three hundred years, this course examines the meaning of whiteness in America and considers the historical and ongoing struggles of those excluded from its privileges. Recommended background: AM/HI 141; HIST 140, 142.

HIST 301 Seminars

These seminars provide opportunities for concentrated work on a particular theme, national experience, or methodology.

HIST 301A Sex and the Modern City: European Cultures at the Fin-de-Siècle

Economic and political change during the 1800s revolutionized the daily lives of Europeans more profoundly than any previous century. By the last third of the century, the modern city became the stage for exploring and enacting new moral fears. This course examines these developments by focusing on sex, gender, and new urban spaces in the decades around the turn of the twentieth century. We will explore the writings of Sigmund Freud and Gustav Le Bon, investigate middle-class fascination with urban voyeurism and new media, and read about sensational cases like those of Jack the Ripper and the “discovery” of an international sex trade. Note: As part of History’s 301 series, the course is designed to guide students through the research and writing process.

HIST 301B From Tibet to Taiwan: Frontiers in Chinese History, 1700 to the Present

This course investigates the twists and turns that attended the transition from imperial regime to modern nation in China. Perhaps two of the main legacies of China’s last empire, the Qing (1644-1912), have been the territorial boundaries claimed by the People’s Republic and the tensions that have continued to erupt throughout the borderlands: Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, and Taiwan. This course deepens our understanding of modern China by considering why these frontiers are part of the contemporary nation-state and why their inclusion continues to be so contentious. Borderlands bring this transition into focus most clearly.

HIST 301C Public History in the Digital Age

Public history takes place beyond history classrooms and academic contexts. Traditionally, it has been found in museums, walking tours, and performances, and has told the stories of people with social and political privilege. Increasingly, however, public history has come to focus on a greater range of voices, and takes place in a wider range of forms: on websites, graphic novels, interactive sensory experiences, social media, and other digital spaces. In this community-engaged course, students learn to see public history “in the wild,” engage with primary sources, and present those sources and historical interpretation to the public in digital form. Students with interests in history and public engagement are encouraged to enroll in this course.

HIST 301D Regulating Intimacy: Histories of the Labor of Sex in North America

In 1875, the United States signed into law the first restrictive federal immigration law that prohibited Chinese Women “imported for the purpose of prostitution.” The Act’s enforcement hinged on the suspicion of all immigrant Chinese women were sex workers at the border. By the turn of the twentieth century, government surveillance of women’s sexual lives extended beyond Chinese women and other immigrant groups into the interior of the United States with passage of the 1910 Mann Act that made it a felony to transport “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution.” The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was the government agency responsible for enforcing the act. This course explores the intertwined ways labor, morals, and gender policing worked at the boundaries of North America to erase women’s sexual labor. Organized regionally, the course will explore sex work across Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

HIST 301E Black Struggles against American Slavery

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 as human property, but they insisted on their freedom. Because slavery shaped the American hemisphere, this seminar takes a broad look at the histories of Africans and African Americans in the United States, Haiti, Brazil, and parts of western Africa. Students will better understand the ways that Black struggles against slavery shaped and continue to shape the Americas. They will also develop their skills as historical researchers and writers, including how to address the challenges of reading records that often obscure Black humanity. We do this work through careful reading of contemporary scholarship as well as primary sources such as music, letters, autobiographies, and material artifacts.

HIST 301F African Nationalism and Decolonization

After European powers partitioned Africa among themselves between 1884 and 1890, Africans became colonial subjects in their own lands, but they also began to practice many forms of resistance. By the late 1940s, these African colonies were becoming ungovernable. In 1957, Ghana became the first of many African countries to gain independence. This course draws on films, secondary readings, and primary source materials to examine the rise of African nationalism and the protracted processes of decolonization in the twentieth century. In particular, it focuses on the roles and experiences of women, union leaders, students, and artists in Africa’s decolonization.

HIST 301G Black Resistance from the Civil War to Civil Rights

From antebellum slavery through twentieth-century struggles for civil rights, black Americans have resisted political violence, economic marginalization, and second-class citizenship using strategies ranging from respectability to radicalism. Engaging with both historical and modern scholarship, literary sources, and other primary documents, this course explores the diverse tactics and ideologies of these resistance movements. By considering the complexities and contradictions of black resistance in American history and conducting source-based research, students develop a deep understanding of the black freedom struggle and reflect on the ways that these legacies continue to shape present-day struggles for racial justice.

HIST 301I Farm, Food, and Factory: An Environmental History of the Industrial Food System in the United States

Food as one of the most basic human needs has generated incredible efforts to shape the environment. Beginning in the nineteenth century, innovations that applied principles of industry to food production have resulted in an unprecedented availability of food. But nonhuman organisms have resisted complete commodification again and again, and have shaped the U.S. and global food system in return. From the vantage point of the United States and Maine in particular, this seminar explores how humans linked agriculture, labor, science, technology, industry, empire, and global trade and development into a powerful industrial-agrarian system that feeds us today.

HIST 301J Medieval Education

This course will explore the nature of education, schooling, and university in the Middle Ages. Who attended schools and universities? How did a person become a teacher or professor? How were educational institutions organized and administered? What subjects and texts were studied? What was a school day or an academic year like? What were the motivations behind education (why go to school, why provide opportunities)? What was the material culture of education? How did education impact wider communities and society and visa-versa? We will consider these questions and more by employing a longue durée approach and examining how educational practices evolved over a thousand-year period. We will also take a transregional and transcultural view by comparing and contrasting education in Jewish, Christian (both Western and Eastern), and Muslim communities. Prior coursework in pre-modern history/medieval studies is strongly recommended.

HIST 301M New England: Environment and History

This seminar examines how people relate to their environments and how those relationships have changed. It also examines how understanding of “the environment” has consequences for how people influence it, how it influences them, and even how people influence each other. Understanding these varied relationships within the human and more-than-human world highlights how canoe routes, beach towns, textile mills, apple orchards, and all other New England environments are products of human dynamics, including those of race, gender, and class. Drawing on scholarly work as well as primary sources (including paintings, newspapers, diaries, and maps), students gain an appreciation for this complex history. They then engage in the process of writing their own analysis of some part of the region’s past.

HIST 301N Mummies, Marauders, and Modernizers: Silk Road Cultural Contacts in the Heart of Central Eurasia

The Silk Roads crisscrossing the heart of Central Eurasia have been and continue to be significant conduits enabling contact among radically different people, goods, ideas, and practices. This course probes the most critical moments of intercultural contact in this region from ancient times to the present, and the scholarly debates they have inspired. From disagreements over the identities of mummified corpses in Western China, the impact of European explorers collecting cultural artifacts, and the role of Islam among the Mongols to Marxist-inspired campaigns to liberate women, the course considers how this region both reflects and shapes world historical patterns.

HIST 301P South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid

Between 1948 and 1994, the National Party enforced apartheid, a system of racial segregation in South Africa. How did nonwhites respond to the apartheid state? Using a variety of primary and secondary source materials, this seminar begins with an examination of major historical events to highlight the laws and social structures put in place prior to 1948. It then turns attention to the apartheid era and examines the lived experiences of the nonwhites under, and their struggle against, the apartheid state. The course pays close attention to the experiences of women, union leaders, students, and artists.

HIST 301R Mere Words? Honor, Reputation, and the Freedom of Speech

Free speech has long been a centerpiece of modern, liberal institutions. Dictators have feared it, of course, but it chronically troubles democratic societies, too. Words have fanned racial and religious hatred and destroyed personal reputation, bringing neighbors to the courts over women’s sexual honor and drawing men into deadly duels. This course draws students into the intertwined histories of freedom of speech and the protection of reputation. The course is rooted in early modern and modern European histories, drawing connections and comparisons not only over time, but also with American, colonial, and postcolonial contexts. Note: As part of History’s 301 series, the course is designed to guide students through the research and writing process.

HIST 301S Environmental History of China

This course investigates the deep historical roots of China’s contemporary environmental dilemmas. From the Three Gorges Dam to persistent smog, a full understanding of the environment in China must reckon with millennia-old relationships between human and natural systems. In this course students explore the advent of grain agriculture, religious understandings of nature, the impact of bureaucratic states, and the environmental dimensions of imperial expansion as well as the nature of kinship and demographic change. The course concludes by turning to the socialist “conquest” of nature in the 1950s and 1960s and China’s post-1980s fate.

HIST 301W Latin America during the Cold War

This course examines Latin American experiences during the cold war from a historical perspective. Students explore how some of the revolutionary transformations, military coups and governments, wide-scale human rights violations, and civil wars shaped the region between the 1950s and the 1980s. Topics covered include Guatemala’s 1954 coup and thirty-year civil conflict, revolution in Cuba, and military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina. Students use and analyze primary sources, including declassified government documents, Truth Commission reports, memoirs, and films.

HIST 301X All Power to All People: Social Movements of the 1960s

In 1964, free speech activist Mario Savio exclaimed, “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious… you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears …and you’ve got to make it stop.” In this seminar students consider the social movements of the 1960s, a period idealized, criticized, and misunderstood in U.S. history. They examine key themes, goals, and tensions within the Chicana/o, Native American, Women’s, and Black Power movements as groups and individuals used their bodies and voices to contest the meaning of American society, and their lasting impacts on US society.

HIST 301Y 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. Students read and analyze original Inquisition cases as well as consider the ways historians have used cases to investigate topics such as sexuality and marriage, popular beliefs, witchcraft, blasphemy, and the persecution of Jewish and Muslim people. 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.

HIST 301Z Intersectionality and Feminist Social Movements

This course considers how racial formations have developed in and influenced gendered and feminist movements. Movements examined may include woman’s suffrage, anti-lynching, civil rights, Black Power, LGBTQ+, moral reform, welfare rights, women’s liberation, and peace. Topics examined include citizenship, colonization, immigration, reproductive justice, and gender-based violence. Cross-listed in gender and sexuality studies, history, and politics.

HIST 320 Religion and Government in the Middle East: Colonialism to the Arab Spring

This seminar examines the place of religion in Middle Eastern politics between the rise of European colonialism and the start of the Arab Spring. Religion in the early modern Middle East encompasses not only the communal values of the region’s local Muslims, Christians, and Jews, but also the complex relationship between religious ethics and notions of government. Students read a range of texts highlighting the history of governments throughout the Middle East, from Algeria and Egypt to Iraq and Iran, focusing on ways religious ethics and identities intersect with political theory between the nineteenth and the twenty-first centuries. Prerequisite(s): one course on European colonialism, nationalism, Islam, or Middle Eastern history.

HIST 322 Mountains and Modernity

Once regarded as impenetrable barriers dividing Europe, the Alps and Carpathian Mountains were transformed into international meeting places with the arrival of mass tourism in the late nineteenth century. At the same time, these mountain ranges began to be claimed in the constructions of national and ethnic identities that reshaped Central and Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. The course examines the role ascribed to the Alps and Carpathians at a pivotal time in European history, when the demise of empires and rising nationalism, but also new ideas about class, gender, ethnicity, and race, fundamentally restructured dynamics of power on the continent. Recommended background: a 200-level course focused on the study of literature and/or film in any department.

HIST 360 Independent Study

HIST 365 Special Topics

HIST 399 Historical Methods

This seminar refines students’ proficiency as historians and prepares them to write their senior thesis. The course is designed around two interrelated goals. First, students analyze how different approaches to history and sources matter to understandings of the past. Second, students design and test their own arguments, drawing upon critical readings of primary sources and close engagement with historiography. The course culminates in the completion of individual thesis proposals. Prerequisite(s): one HIST 301 seminar.

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 HIST 457 in the fall semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both HIST 457 and 458. Prerequisite(s): HIST 399.

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 HIST 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both HIST 457, 458. Prerequisite(s): HIST 399.

HIST S14 Saints, Ships, and Sultans: The Horn of Africa in the Middle Ages

The Horn of Africa represents one of the great crossroads of the world, connecting the Red Sea and Mediterranean worlds with those of the Indian Ocean. In the medieval period, the region flourished, with its history and society shaped by religion, trade, and politics. Christian states of Ethiopia sought both to pursue an independent expression of their faith and link themselves with the wider Christian world. Muslim states in Somalia sought political definition and economic power in a booming interconnected global community. Community-engaged learning sits at the core of this course. Recommended background: CM/HI 102 or 293.

HIST S15 Sport, Gender, and the Body in Modern China

From kungfu to the Olympics, Jet Li to Yao Ming, sport is a central part of lived experience in China. There is more here than simply box scores and baskets: through sport, we see how China’s twentieth-century revolutions radically transformed gender relations, conceptions of the body, and what it means to be modern. This course looks at sport and the rise of nationalism, the gendered dimensions of revolution, reform-era commercialization, and the persistence of racialized stereotypes. Students grapple with these issues by examining a range of sources such as novels, posters, kungfu film, and actual sporting events.

HIST S16 Crime and Deviance in the American Civil War

This course examines deviant behavior through a historical lens, focusing on the American Civil War (1861-1865), and primarily drawing on movies, texts, discussion, and visits to local landmarks and museums. Students discuss what types of deviance and crime occurred during wartime and use a sociological lens to analyze why the behaviors occurred and what consequences they had. They apply current thinking in criminology and sociology to understanding crime and deviance in the 1860s. The course is an exploration of how wartime shapes our attitudes, behaviors, and life chances.

HIST S17 Global Chinese Food

What makes a “Chinese” meal? From dumplings in Shandong to chop suey in California, the meanings and flavors of “Chinese” food are hardly uniform. In this course, students explore-and taste their way through-the diverse ways of producing, preparing, and consuming “Chinese” foods. They focus especially on unique historical contexts and global patterns of migration, reflecting on what food and food culture might reveal about issues of authenticity, identity, gender, race, class, and memory. They consider these topics not only through textual and visual sources, but through oral interviews, hands-on cooking demonstrations, and taste tests.

HIST S18 Wilde Times: Scandal, Celebrity, and the Law

Oscar Wilde, an icon today, was popular in his own time as well. His relationship with Alfred Douglas was an open secret despite the fact that homosexuality was at the time a criminal offense. Indeed, Wilde’s sexuality was tolerated until he sued Douglas’ irascible father for libel. This course begins with the 1895 trials, seeking to understand cultures of sexuality in a period notorious for sexual repression, and contextualizing issues they raise of scandal and the law, celebrity, gender, and sexuality. Designed to encourage independent research, the course guides students through the research process, drawing to the fore histories often hidden from view. Cross-listed in European studies, gender and sexuality studies, and history. Not open to students who have received credit for INDS 107. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30.

HIST S20 Latina Power! U.S. Latina Labor History

One of the first major labor victories for Mexican Americans came from an unlikely source: young, Latina organizers. This course examines these women, their organizing, and the larger contexts of labor movements and the place of Latina women in the mid-twentieth century, focusing on the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike in San Antonio, Texas, led by an 18-year-old strike leader Emma Tenayuca, and Luisa Moreno, a Guatemalan immigrant who organized workers in Florida and California. Grounded in feminist theory, the course places the strike and Latina workers as critical in core social tensions of the time.

HIST S22 Black Masculinities: Masculinity in Twentieth Century Black America

With the rise of Donald Trump and the #MeToo Movement debates about hyper, toxic, and positive masculinity dominated American media. Fights over the role of men and manhood in an evolving American community have created what some are calling a “crisis of masculinity.” For African Americans debates over Black men’s masculinity and the “dangers” it presents have been central to the American discourse since the era of enslavement but became more complex and complicated during the Twentieth Century. In this course students will explore the development of Black masculinity during the 1900s. They will examine how the larger society framed Black manhood and the ways Black men negotiated those definitions. Furthermore, the class will seek to understand how Black men framed their own masculinity through discussions of class, sexuality, the evolving role of the Black man within the Black family.

HIST S23 The Revolutionary Era from the Bottom Up: A Social History of the American Revolution

Patriotic narratives associated with the birth of the republic are deeply ingrained within the American political identity. Recently, the hit Broadway musical Hamilton brought the production’s namesake and the familiar cast of Founding Fathers back to the center stage of American pop culture. The contributions of political elites merit popular and scholarly attention, of course, but should we also consider the experiences, perspectives, and contributions of those outside centers of formal political power? This course asks students to examine the ways African Americans, Native Americans, women, loyalists, common farmers, and urban artisans experienced and contributed to the Revolutionary era.

HIST S24 Race and Citizenship in the Nineteenth-Century United States

The American Revolution may have created a new nation of citizens out of a piece of the British Empire, but the exact contours of American citizenship remained ambiguous and contested. Who decided membership in this nation of citizens? Who qualified for citizenship and who did not, and upon what grounds? What rights and obligations, if any, were inherent in citizenship? This course examines how various groups of people answered these questions – in courtrooms, legislative halls, the popular press, and even the quotidian interactions of everyday people – over the course of the nineteenth century. The course pays particular attention to how race (as an ideological construct) and racialized peoples affected the development of American citizenship.

HIST S25 From Archives to Studios: Producing a History Podcast

In 1987, Alice Lakwena, a thirty-one-year-old woman, formed the subversive Holy Spirit Movement. She became the only woman to lead a rebellion against the government of Uganda, yet she remains poorly understood. Today, she is dismissed as a “witch,” “prostitute,” and “prophet.” Who exactly was Lakwena? What motivated her to lead the rebellion? This course introduces students to themes of gender and militarism in Africa. Students work with a range of documents about Lakwena and her movement, including court records, detective reports, eye-witness testimony, receipts, and newspapers. Students use these records to compose scripts and produce a forty-five-minute podcast for the general public.

HIST S26 ¡Revolución! Debating Mexico

The year is 1911 and Mexico just ended a thirty-year dictatorship. Now civil war looms as revolutionaries, reformers, and conservatives cannot agree on what should happen next. In this course, students investigate some of the most pressing issues of the Mexican Revolution by assuming the role of historical figures in a Reacting to the Past “game” that transforms the classroom into a constitutional congress. There they attempt to shape Mexico’s future, including what to do about voting rights, land reform, workers’ rights, education, and women’s rights.

HIST S28 Wabanaki History in Maine

Wabanaki, or “the people of the Dawnland,” include the Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Mi’kmaq, and Wolastoqey (or Maliseet) nations. This course examines the ways that Wabanaki have adapted to, fought with, and lived alongside European invaders and their descendants in the region now known as Maine. Students examine some of the ways that European Americans’ racism has erased Wabanaki 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 Wabanaki cultural practices. Given widespread ignorance about Wabanaki in the state and at Bates College, students’ final research projects will address contemporary Wabanaki efforts to become more visible and more respected. In most years students will spend several nights off campus to meet Wabanaki educators, so students with on-campus commitments should consider whether they can complete this course.

HIST S29 Montezuma’s Mexico: Aztecs and their World

The Aztec state encompassed millions of people, featured a capital whose size and towering pyramids left the first Spanish visitors in awe, and developed a culture that continues to influence contemporary Mexico. Yet Aztecs are more often remembered for their cannibalism than their complex civilization. This course examines the Aztec world: what it was like to live under Aztec rule, how society was organized, what people believed about how the cosmos worked, and why Aztecs practiced ritual human sacrifice.

HIST S50 Independent Study

HIST s37 The Middle Ages through Film and Television

Most people’s first encounters with the “Middle Ages” are through fictional films & television programs. The purpose of this course is to help us explore the common themes & tropes utilized in popular media that construct a particular image of the period. In particular, this course will challenge the veracity of these constructs & consider how the presentation of the past feeds into racist, colonialist, & white-supremacist/nationalist ideas of the Middle Ages. The course will focus on popular film & television that was/is widely consumed. We will also move away from “Hollywood” depictions of the period to examine the Middle Ages in Middle Eastern & Asian cinema. Prior coursework on medieval topics (history, literature, religion etc.) is recommended.

LALS 295 Montezuma’s Mexico: Aztecs and their World

The Aztec state encompassed millions of people, featured a capital whose size and towering pyramids left the first Spanish visitors in awe, and developed a culture that continues to influence contemporary Mexico. Yet Aztecs are more often remembered for their cannibalism than their complex civilization. This course examines the Aztec world: what it was like to live under Aztec rule, how society was organized, what people believed about how the cosmos worked, and why Aztecs practiced ritual human sacrifice.

REL 295 Montezuma’s Mexico: Aztecs and their World

The Aztec state encompassed millions of people, featured a capital whose size and towering pyramids left the first Spanish visitors in awe, and developed a culture that continues to influence contemporary Mexico. Yet Aztecs are more often remembered for their cannibalism than their complex civilization. This course examines the Aztec world: what it was like to live under Aztec rule, how society was organized, what people believed about how the cosmos worked, and why Aztecs practiced ritual human sacrifice.