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SAGES Departmental Seminars 


                           CURRENT HISTORY COURSES FOR SPRING 2018

HSTY 109

Modern American History Since 1877

T/R 10:00-11:15 Rabinovitch-Fox

This course provides an introductory survey of American history from the end of Reconstruction through the early 21st century, focusing on politics, foreign relations, the economy, and culture and social life.

HSTY 113

Introduction to Modern World History

 M/W/F 2:15-3:05 Ledford

The history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in global context. Emphasis on the forces that have created or shaped the modern world: industrialization and technological change; political ideas and movements such as nationalism; European imperialism and decolonization; and the interplay of cultural values.

HSTY 132

Introduction to Modern East Asia

T/R 10:00-11:15


This course is an introduction to the histories of modern China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam from the “dawn of the global world” in the 17th century to present. Taken together these regions make up the geographic and cultural unit commonly referred to as “East Asia.”  We will examine how international diplomatic, commercial, military, religious, and cultural relationships shaped the individual countries as well as their relationships with each other and the world.

HSTY 137

Introduction to Modern South Asia

M/W 12:45-2:00 Dasgupta

This course will introduce students to the history of the region that today includes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The course will deal with the following themes: global trade between the Indian subcontinent and the West in the 17th century; the rise of the East India Company’s dominance over the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century; the transformation of India into a colonial economy; social and religious reform movements of the 19th century; changing modalities of colonial rule after the transfer of governing power from the East India Company to the British Crown-in-Parliament; the emergence and trajectories of elite and popular anti-colonial nationalisms; the struggles of women, low status groups, and other minorities in the region; decolonization; and the partition of the subcontinent.

HSTY 138

Radical History in America

M/W/F 10:35-11:25


This course examines the radical tradition in America from the time of the American Revolution until the present. Topics will include abolitionism, suffrage, anarchism, socialism, communism, black power, feminism, the New Left, radical environmentalism, and queer liberation. Recommended Preparation: High school American history.

HSTY 201

Science in Western Thought I

T/R 10:00-11:15 Rumor

The development of Western thinking about the natural world and our relation to it, as part of culture, from pre-classical civilizations to the age of Newton.

HSTY 206

Ancient and Medieval Spain: Prehistory to 1492

M/W/F 10:35-11:25 Todd

This course focuses on the history of the Iberian peninsula from before the Roman conquest from the Iberians, Greek, and Carthaginian settlements, through Roman, Visigothic, and Muslim rule to the conquest of Ferdinand and Isabella of the last non-Christian territory on the peninsula in 1492. The issues of conquest, frontier, cultural diversity, and change, tolerance, and intolerance will be examined.

HSTY 208

Social History of Crime

M/W 12:45-2:00 Steinberg

This course explores the relationship between law and history in American society. It uses social history methodology to suggest new ways of understanding how the law works as a system of power to advance certain interests at the expense of less powerful groups. Emphasis is on issues of pressing concern to America’s poor and working class, including the death penalty, abortion, rape, the war on drugs, and the prison industry.

HSTY 216

Vikings and Medieval Scandinavia

M/W 12:45-2:00


A survey of the history of the Vikings and medieval Scandinavia, covering approximately the eighth to the fifteenth centuries AD. Topics explored include: causes of the “outbreak” and cessation of Viking expeditions, the role of the Vikings as raiders and/or traders in Western Europe, the role of the Vikings in the emerging states of Russia, Iceland and medieval Scandinavian law, the historicity of the saga literature, and Viking descendents–Normans and “Rus.”

HSTY 222

Becoming Ken Burns: An Introduction to Public History

T/R 1:00-2:15 Grabowski

This course focuses on the practice of public (applied) history in the United States. Its purpose is to familiarize students with the background (historical and contemporary) of the manners in which history is taught and used outside of the school or college classroom as well to familiarize them with potential careers in public history, including museum work; editing; documentary film production; and the growing business of “history for hire.”

HSTY 225


W 2:15-4:45 Princehouse

Multidisciplinary study of the course and processes of organic evolution provides a broad understanding of the evolution of structural and functional diversity, the relationships among organisms and their environments, and the phylogenetic relationships among major groups of organisms.

HSTY 232

Gods and Gladiators: The World of Ancient Rome

M/W 10:35-11:25 Hay

The enduring significance of the Romans studied through their history, literature, art, and philosophy. Lectures and discussion.

HSTY 237

WWII: How Britain Saved the World and Lost an Empire

W 5:30-8:00 Broich

This lecture and discussion course gives students the opportunity to learn about the Second World War from the perspective of the British and their soldiery from around the globe. The course will examine those in Britain who might have preferred a move towards Fascism in the late 1930s. It will investigate why imperial subjects who lacked democracy in their own lands fought for the British in the name of democracy against totalitarianism. And it will scrutinize those in the Empire who instead sided with the Axis

HSTY 278

Nineteenth-Century Europe

M/W/F 10:35-11:15 Geller

This course examines the history of Europe during the so-called long nineteenth century, lasting from the French Revolution, which signaled the end of the Old Order, through World War I, which led to the end of the European primacy in the world. Major themes include decline of aristocratic hegemony, the emergence of new ideologies (especially nationalism, liberalism, and socialism), the rise of the bourgeoisie, culture in Europe’s golden age, and increasing national rivalry and competition.

HSTY 302

Ancient Greece: Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Periods

M/W/F 12:45-2:00 Iverson

The rise of Hellenic thought and institutions from the eighth to the third centuries B.C., the rise of the polis, the evolution of democracy at Athens, the crises of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, fifth-century historiography, the growth of individualism, and the revival of monarchy in the Hellenistic period.

HSTY 319

The Crusades

T/R 1:00-2:15 Todd

This course is a survey of the history of the idea of “crusade,” the expeditions of Western Europeans to the East known as crusades, the Muslim and Eastern Christian cultures against which these movements were directed, as well as the culture of the Latin East and other consequences of these crusades.

HSTY 320/420

Alexander the Great: Materials and Methods

M/W/F 2:15-3:05 Sternberg

The seminar offers students a firm grounding in the discipline of Classics with an emphasis on the diverse materials (particularly primary source material), methods and approaches that can be brought to bear on the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. Students will read and discuss the ancient sources and contemporary scholarship on the enigmatic Alexander the Great drawn from various fields of classics, including history, archaeology, art history, philosophy, gender studies, epigraphy, numismatics, and the reception of Alexander.

HSTY 346

Guns, Germs, and Steel

T 5:30-8:00 Broich

Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel won the Pulitzer for non-fiction in 1998. Diamond, a physiologist, explains that Western Europe came to occupy and dominate large areas of the globe because of natural resources present in certain regions of the Old World since the end of the last Ice Age. The course engages in an extended comparative exploration of the worldviews of different world cultures, most extensively comparing European worldviews with Native American, but also paying significant attention to Asian worldviews. The Native American cultures under consideration include those of both North and South America.

HSTY 348/448

History of Modern Political and Social Thought

M 3:20-5:50 Levin

This course explores the responses of philosophers, economic theorists, culture critics, public policy makers and urban planners to changes in western society wrought by industrialization by focusing on their concerns with social reform and control, production and consumption, alienation, the deteriorating environment, and the possibility of progress itself. This course is cross listed with POSC 348.

HSTY 359/459

Books as Bombs: Books that Reshaped American Culture

W 12:45-3:15 Sentilles/Shulman

In this advanced undergraduate seminar, students will read and discuss a selection of such works under the tutelage of Professors Shulman, a specialist in the History of Science and Technology, and Sentilles, who specializes in social and cultural history. The professors will set up the context of the work’s publication or creation and then lead the class in a lively dissection of both the work and its impact. The main question asked of each book is “how and why did this work have such an effect?” In attempting to answer that question, students will come to a greater understanding of society that created and then responded to each work.

HSTY 373/473

Women and Medicine in the United States

T/R 11:30-12:45 Sentilles

Students in this seminar will investigate the experiences of American women as practitioners and as patients. We will meet weekly in the Dittrick Medical Museum for discussion of texts and use artifacts from the museum’s collection. After a unit exploring how the female body was viewed by medical theorists from the Galenic period to the nineteenth-century, we will look at midwives, college-trained female doctors and nurses, and health advocacy among poor populations. We will then look at women’s experiences in terms of menstruation, childbearing, and menopause, before exploring the cultural relationship between women and psychological disorders.


Page last modified: October 6, 2017