CURRENT HISTORY COURSES FOR SPRING 2020

HSTY 113

Intro to Modern World History

MWF 10:35-11:25 Sadowsky

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 117

Exploring American History Through Biography

TR 1:00-2:15 Sentilles

This discussion and lecture class uses various forms of biography to explore issues of American Identity throughout the course of American history. The class will discuss how certain biographies have created archetypal American identities, and how issues such as race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and historical context have shaped the writing, reading and purpose of biography. Students will explore biographical process through their assignments, and consider such questions as: How do American biographies influence our understanding of what it means to be American? How does biographical medium affect the message? Can we accept biography as history?

HSTY 126

Fashion & Power: The Politics of Dress in American History

TR 10:00-11:15


As an expressive medium, clothing and appearance became crucial in the construction of political identities and in serving as a means of control, oppression, as well as protest and resistance. This seminar will examine the links between clothing, sartorial practices and political significance. Special attention will be given to the role of clothes in negotiating and constructing gender, race, class, sexual, and national identities. Students may not earn credit for both this course and USSO 290U.

HSTY 157

Women’s History in South Asia

MW 12:45-2:00 Dasgupta

Themes explored in the course will include (but not be limited to): the historical transformations of institutions shaping women’s lives such as state, family, religious and legal traditions; the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and decolonization on women, as well as the history of women’s movements in various parts of South Asia. As we acquaint ourselves with the vibrant historiography on women in South Asia, we will also examine the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in writing histories using the analytical lens of gender, and evaluate the South Asian cases and examples within the broader field of women’s history.

HSTY 204/404

Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector

TR 2:30-3:45


The United States has by far the largest and most important “nonprofit sector” in the world, a sector consisting of voluntary non-governmental organizations that provide health care, education and social services as well as arts, religious, and advocacy activities. Using mostly primary sources, this course considers the significance of the nonprofit sector in the U.S., its advantages and disadvantages, its uses for different groups of Americans, and current trends. Students have the option of writing either a standard term paper, or a study of strategic challenges facing a contemporary nonprofit organization.

HSTY 209

The Copernican Revolution

TR 10:00-11:15 Rothman

This course will introduce students across the disciplines to the story of the Copernican Revolution, beginning with pre-Copernican astronomy and then moving from Copernicus’s first writings to Newton’s Principia of 1687, which united the new heavenly laws of Kepler with the new earthly laws of Galileo. Throughout the course, students will chart the Copernican Revolution’s pathways, forms, and effects, through texts, letters, maps, images, and fiction. Students will also consider various historical interpretations of the Copernican Revolution in order to explore different conceptions of what science is and how science works. The course will include a number of hands-on activities and trips to help students consider the meaning and implications of the Copernican Revolution outside of our readings and classroom discussions.

HSTY 211

The Era of the American Revolution, 1763-1789

TR 11:30-12:45 Beales

This is a survey of the Revolutionary period of American history, from the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. We will focus primarily on the underlying causes of the American Revolution, the chain of events leading to the Declaration of Independence, the war with England, postwar conflicts of the 1780s, the Constitutional Convention, and the ratification struggle that followed, with a look forward to the so-called Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. This course examines the Revolutionary crisis as a complex, multi-racial, transatlantic struggle and also examines competing scholarly interpretations of the Revolution as a progressive or retrograde watershed in American gender relations.

HSTY 216


MWF 10:35-11:25 Todd

 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.” Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

HSTY 223

The Cold War

TR 10:00-11:15


This course provides an introduction to the history of the Cold War from both American and global perspectives. What explains the origins and maintenance of the conflict? Can it really be considered a “cold” war when so much actual “hot” conflict took place during its organization of the international system? Why did the U.S. go to war in Korea and Vietnam and with what results? How did the rest of the world not directly aligned with the United States or the Soviet Union experience the conflict? How was American domestic politics and social life shaped by the conflict? How did earlier sites of conflict in Europe and East Asia give way to new ones in the Middle East and Latin America? How did the conflict reshape global science, technology, and ecologies? How did the conflict reshape ideas about human rights? Why did the Cold War end when it did and what international system replaced it—or did it even end at all?

HSTY 227

Christianity, Inc.: Corporations and Religion in United States History

TR 2:30-3:45 Beales

Chick-fil-A closes on Sundays, Hobby Lobby has religious beliefs, and the fast fashion company Forever 21 prints
John 3:16 on its signature yellow bags. The intersection between these modern corporations and Christianity is a basic
part of the American consumer experience. Has Christianity always had such a cozy relationship with corporations, or is
this the result of recent historical developments? In this course, we will trace the long and tangled relationship between
Christianity and corporations to better understand the world we live in today. We will examine how corporations structured the medieval church, how they were critical agents of colonization and missionary work, and how the American state could regulate churches through corporate law following disestablishment. We will examine how the emergence of the modern business corporation both developed from and transformed early modern ideas about the corporation. The last two weeks of the semester will be devoted to an in-depth examination of the landmark Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Analyzing the historic relationship between Christianity and corporations will give us a new set of intellectual tools that will help us interpret the role of corporations in our own lives.

HSTY 235 Pirates in the Early Modern World TR 11:00-2:15 Weiss
Beyond examining images of heroic outlaws and bloodthirsty criminals in popular culture and current affairs, this course investigates maritime predators of the early modern period (16th-18th centuries). With a focus on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic it considers the motivations and strategies of sea robbers and the responses of states. What, it asks, can Barbary corsairs, Dutch freebooters, Spanish “sea dogs,” and Catholic privateers, teach us about social rebellion, religious conflict, economic development, political authority, legal norms, naval power and imperial expansion?
HSTY 237 WWII from British Empire Perspective T 5:30-8:00 Broich

Many might come to the course with images of the American “Bands of Brothers” fighting across France in 1944. But that was the end of the war. In the beginning, it fell to the British leadership (famously embodied by Winston Churchill), British people, and to an extraordinary extent the Indian Army to withstand a pummeling at the hands of the Axis powers long enough for America to join the conflict. 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 262

African American History Since 1945

MW 3:20-4:35 Lanier Allen

 Completes the three-term sequence of the African-American history survey (although the first two courses are not prerequisites for this course). Explores some of the key events and developments shaping African-American social, political, and cultural history since 1945.

HSTY 278

Nineteenth Century Europe

MWF 9:30-10:20 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 289

China 1895 to Present

TR 10:00-11:15 Bonk

Beginning with the First Sino-Japanese War (1895), we review the historical development of intellectual discourse, public reaction, and political protest in later Imperial China through the creation of the People’s Republic in 1949 forward to contemporary times. In contrast to the conventional description of China from a Western point of view, this course tries to explain the emergence of modern China in the context of its intellectual, political, and socio-economic transformation as experienced by Chinese in the late 19th and into the 20th century. By discussing the influence of the West, domestic rebellions, and political radicalism, we examine how the Chinese state and society interacted in search for modernization and reforms, how these reforms were continued during the Republican period, and to what extent historical patterns can be identified in China’s present-day development.

HSTY 317/417

Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Cleveland

T 2:20-5:00 Rabinovitch-Fox

This course is a chance to get a hands-on experience in exhibit curation and to gain digital humanities skills. Using the centennial of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution that granted women the right to vote, students will create an exhibition and website to commemorate the history and legacies of the suffrage struggle in Cleveland and at CWRU. In addition to research and understanding in the history of women’s suffrage, students will acquire digital and curatorial experience, of benefit in your professional careers.

HSTY 319

The Crusades

MW 12:45-2:00 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 335

20th Century Germany

MW 12:45-2:00 Ledford

Examines the tumultuous history of Germany from 1914 to the unification of the two Germanys in 1989-1990. From the totalizing and traumatic experience of World War I, through a failed revolution, the republican experiment of Weimar, the National Socialist dictatorship under Hitler and the divided Germany suspended between the superpowers, to the newly unified democratic Federal Republic. Examines the ways in which Germans have tried to reconcile the state to their society, economy, and individual lives.

HSTY 337/437

Ancient Medicine

TR 11:30-12:45 Rumor

This course offers a general survey of the history of medicine from its origins in pre-historical times to Galen (2nd c. CE) with a view to gaining a better understanding of the path that eventually lead to modern medical practice. The various medical systems considered, including the ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Jewish, Chinese, Ayurvedic, Greek and Roman traditions, will be examined through the study of primary and secondary sources, while key conceptual developments and practices are identified within their cultural and social context. Special issues, such as epidemics, women’s medicine, and surgery, are also explored and discussed.

HSTY 339

Origins of Arab-Israeli Conflict

W 4:25-6:55 Broich

Course materials include histories of Zionism, pre-Zionist Palestine, the British Mandate years, the British Empire in other Arab lands, and the 1948 war and aftermath. Primary sources from the perspective British officials on the ground in Palestine receive much attention. The histories of engineering and agriculture are highlighted alongside traditional social and political perspectives. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.

HSTY 355 Age of the American Civil War 1815-1880 TR 4:00-5:15 Grabowski

This course examines the causes and consequences of the Civil War, focusing on the rise of sectionalism, the dynamics of conflict, and reconstruction. Heavy emphasis is placed on archival research in relevant first person accounts from the period.

HSTY 359/459

Books as Bombs

W 12:45-3:15 Shulman & Sentilles

Every now and again a piece of prose profoundly reshapes American society and culture. 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 378/468

North American Environmental History

Tu 11:30-12:45 Steinberg

This course introduces major questions and approaches in the study of environmental history. Taking North American as our subject, we explore how humans have shaped the environment of the continent and how human history has, in turn been shaped by the natural world form antiquity to the present. Major topics include Pleistocene extinctions, the Columbian exchange, the market revolution in agriculture, American epidemics, industrialization, the origins of conservation, the environmental movement, and the globalization of America’s environmental footprint.

HSTY 476 Comparative Seminar M 5:30-8:00 Rumor
An introduction to comparative method for historians. The topics will vary year to year, but the course will require exposure to historical contexts outside of the United States. Prereq: Graduate standing or instructor permission.
HSTY 479 Graduate Research Seminar R 4:00-6:30 Steinberg

Research seminar for graduate students. Intensive focus on processes of historical research and writing. Students produce conference paper and research paper based on primary sources. Prereq: Graduate standing or instructor permission.