Spring 2019 Courses 


HIS 102 F                   HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, II





HIS 102 1f                  HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, II

                                    DISCUSSION SECTION FOR HIS 102 F

F 1:25pm-2:15pm



HIS 102 1h                 HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, II

                                    DISCUSSION SECTION FOR HIS 102 F

F 3:35pm-4:25pm




S 11:05an-1:30pm



This course offers a survey of Western Civilization from prehistoric times to early modern history. Each class session will be structured around a lecture, supplemented by questions and discussion. The course will attempt to achieve a balance between historical interpretation and "hard fact", and between informing generalization and essential detail. An effort will be made to direct the student's thought toward history as process as well as fact. Attention will be called to the importance of ideas, the circumstances underlying the rise and fall of civilizations, and the impact of cultural diffusion. In the spring His 131-91 will meet in Dooly Memorial 119 on Saturdays from 11:05-1:30. This is a continuing studies course, open only to students who are part of that program.



MW 11:15AM-12:05PM



This course covers primarily the history of Europe from the seventeenth century to the present. The course will open with a look at power politics, culture, and society in early modern times, including the creation and impact of a world economy built upon European maritime empires. In particular it will ask how and why the French Revolution was a fundamental turning point in history. Then we will look at the evolving character of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This history will be punctuated by the influence of another revolution – the Industrial Revolution – and by the increasing power of nationalism. In the nineteenth century we

will explore the creation of new states in the heart of Europe (e.g. Bismarck’s unification of Germany) and we will ask whether the prosperity and comfort of middle-class culture allows us to identify a “belle époque” in Europe in the last decades before the First World War. In the last part of the semester we will take up a twentieth-century history of world wars, fascism, collapse, and renewal. The class will meet on Monday and Wednesday for lectures, and on Fridays for discussion.



                                    DISCUSSION SECTION FOR HIS 132 D

F 11:15am-12:05pm




                                    DISCUSSION SECTION FOR HIS 132 D

F 1:25pm-2:15pm



HIS200 E                  THE MONGOLS: EURASIA IN THE 13TH AND 14TH C. (EXP)                                                                  

MWF 12:20pm-1:10pm


This course will consider and evaluate the profound and wide-ranging cultural, economic, ecological, and political impacts of the rise and fall of the Mongols in the 12th-14thc. We will begin in the steppes of Inner Asia with Chinggis (Genghis) Khan and his successors, who established a state of conquest that stretched from Russia and Iran in the West to China in the East. We will also examine the institutions and ideologies that became part and parcel of administering a world empire and bear witness to the unprecedented movement of goods, people, and disease between the eastern and western ends of Eurasia that political unity made possible. Finally, we will explore the causes and consequences of the splintering of the unitary Mongol state into four separate, competing khanates, as well as the short-lived reestablishment of unity under Timur before his death in 1405 C.E.



TR 5:00pm-6:15pm


This course examines the historical experiences of the African Diaspora in South Florida through a close analyses of three junctures in the history of the Black experience: The slave trade, abolition and emancipation; the migration of various African-descended peoples from the Caribbean and Latin America to South Florida; and the more recent arrival of people from Africa.  The major themes to be tackled in the time frame include, among others, migration, culture contact, creation of  «new cultures », political activism, including civil rights activism, and the emergence of « new » communities that have enriched the political, economic and social landscape of South Florida.


Among the various parts of the state of Florida, the presence of African-descended peoples in South Florida stand out because of the range of diversity, beginning with the enslaved Africans who fled Georgia and Mississippi to come to Miami and thence to the Bahamas, or who joined some South Florida aboriginal groups and became the Black Seminoles.  This group formed the vanguard of the African presence in South Florida, and were followed by enslaved Africans from St. Augustine who were instrumental in both clearing the land around what is now Bayfront Park, Bayside.  This group was joined by Bahamians whose work in the Bayside area (clearing the land for Flagler’s railroad), garnered them land in Coconut Grove. Other Bahamians migrated to the Florida Keys in the 1880s when the Bahamian economy collapsed. Since the 1960s, Jamaicans, Barbadians Antiguans, Grenadians, Cubans, Haitians and others have migrated in large numbers across the Florida Straits to South Florida due to political and economic challenges in the Caribbean region.  This particular wave of migration particularly changed the composition of the African diaspora in South Florida. Finally, an increasingly large number of continental Africans from Angola to Zimbabwe have entered the mix as students and professionals in various fields. What societies have emerged in South Florida as a result of these Immigrants?



TR 9:30am-10:45am


This lower-division lecture course will offer an introductory thematic overview to the ideas and politics of nationalism throughout the globe. Lectures will focus on questions such as: What is a nation? What is a nation’s relationship to a state? Who is part and not part of a nation? How do nations interact? What makes and/or breaks nations? And what is nationalism’s relationship to violence? Lectures will focus on case studies from different eras and different continents with the goal of showing the historical context of nationhood. No prior history background necessary.



TR 11:00am-12:15pm    


This course explores changing attitudes to war, particularly holy war, in the three major Western religious traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course extends from the Ancient Near East to the present. We will be exploring such issues as Just War, the meaning(s) of Jihad, the Crusades, Christian Wars of Religion, the Enlightenment, religious movements devoted to peace, and the recent revival of religious war. Classes will include a combination of lecture and discussion of primary texts, ranging from extracts from the Bible and the Qur’an to very recent works discussing religion and war.


HIS 267 P                   MAKING HISTORY

TR 11:00am-12:15pm


In this seminar we will examine what material culture–objects, architecture, and landscape–can tell us about the lives of people in the past.  We will explore not only various types of material culture, but we will also appraise the ways scholars have approached this unconventional, yet powerful, source base: the questions they have asked, the methods they have used, and the conclusions they have drawn.  Our focus is on the early period of American history (the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries), and we will work with objects in Richter Library’s Special Collections and the Lowe Art Museum to enrich our studies.


HIS 300 K                  EARLY ISLAMIC EMPIRES: 622-1517 AD (EXP)

MW 6:25pm-7:40pm


This seminar will explore the history of Islamic Empires from the year of Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. to the conquest of the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt by the Ottomans in 1517 C.E. Major themes to be explored include: the nature of political authority and spiritual legitimacy in early Islamic polities; contexts for conversion and mechanisms for interacting with non-Muslim subject peoples; the nomadism/sedentism binary in early Islamic history; and the historiographical tradition in medieval Islam. As a seminar this course will be primarily discussion oriented, with our focus on the critical examination and proper contextualization of a host of primary sources and key works of modern scholarship.


HIS 310 J                   AFRICA IN CUBA/CUBA IN AFRICA:


MW 5:00pm-6:15pm


This course examines the relationship between Cuba and Africa from the period of the slave trade to the late 1990s.  The course is divided into three sections. Section one deals with Cuba and Africa during the period of the slave trade.  It focuses on the forced migration of Africans to Cuba, the contribution of the enslaved to the growth and development of Cuba and the impact of the African presence on the island.  The next section will deal with the Cuban revolution and the contribution of Cuba’s Black population to the revolution.  It will analyze the impact of the revolution on race relations in Cuba. 

In the final section, we shall discuss Cuba’s Africa policy from the time of the Cuban revolution to the independence of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and Principé.  This section is designed to answer certain fundamental questions: Why did a small country like Cuba play such a preponderant role in Africa during the decolonization period, a time of heightened tension between the superpowers?  What exactly did Cuban soldiers do in the Congo, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde? Was Cuba a proxy for the Soviet Union or was Fidel Castro pursuing a Cuban agenda? What was the thinking behind Castro’s African policy? Finally, Cuba trained African youth as doctors, engineers and technicians on the Isle of Youth.  These Cuban-trained African professionals returned to their respective countries in Africa to help rebuild their countries. But did they carry aloft the banner of revolution in their countries?




TR 8:00am-9:15am


This course will study the rise and significance of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, leader of the non-violent nationalist movement against the British Empire in India at the turn of the twentieth century. Through a detailed study of his numerous writings we will explore Gandhi’s theories and praxis of civil disobedience, satyagraha, non-violent protest, moral discipline, critique of modernity as well as his alternative vision of civil society and polity. In the discussion of his philosophical concepts we will focus on the extent and directions to which his ideas and thoughts were adopted as well as rejected in the making of the modern Indian nation state. We will critically examine the widely held perception that “Gandhi brought politics to the masses,” and see the ways in which Gandhian thought was adapted, received and enacted by different actors in the nationalist struggle against the British as well as in independent India. We will explore issues of political mobilization, strategies of “passive” resistance, relations between Hindus and Muslims, Hindu caste society’s ills, the question of “untouchables”, modern science, technology and economic growth, the place of women in society, self-reliance, individual and collective responsibilities.

Endearingly often called “Bapu”, or with veneration also known as the “Mahatma”, Gandhi and Gandhian philosophy and praxis have a complex and conflicted relationship with modernity in India in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. In this course the students drawing from Gandhi’s writings, as well as extensive multi-disciplinary scholarship on him and his times, audio-visuals, film and other multi-media, will get a rounded picture of the man, the historical context of his times, primary influences on his thoughts as well as his particular legacy and relevance in contemporary India and the world in general. This is a writing credit course.



MWF 10:10am-11:00am


This course will be a thematic rather than chronological study of issues relating to gender and sex and the ways in which they have shaped the history of women and men’s lived experiences in India. We will focus on relations between women and men, constructions of the feminine and the masculine, sexual politics in the divergent narratives and contested histories of Indian womanhood as imagined and lived – the “Devi”(Goddess) or the “Dasi” (slave), the changing and dynamic nature of the roles and statuses of women and men in the spheres of politics, law, society, economy, and culture. We will weave a narrative of women and men’s lives by looking at both formal structures (inscribed in religious and legal texts) as well the customary lived experiences that often did not conform closely to formal dictates. To understand both formal social structure as well as experience and lived customs we will read a variety of multidisciplinary texts – primary historical documents written by both women and men, religious texts (Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist), selections from legal treatises, folktales, fiction, plays, autobiographies, memoirs, visuals, and films. Themes will be selected from ancient, medieval and modern periods of Indian history, with primary focus on modern and contemporary developments. This is a writing credit course.



HIS 316                      MODERN CHINA

TR 9:30am-10:45am


China has become one of the two most powerful countries in the world in the early twenty-first century, and some commentators believe that it may come to dominate the international system within several decades.  Yet during the past hundred and fifty years, it has witnessed three revolutions, fought at least eight major wars, and suffered the largest manmade famine in human history.  How can we reconcile this tumultuous past with China’s growing stature on the world stage today?  This course examines China’s changing place in the global order from the late seventeenth century to the present, arguing that the origins of its current power lie as much in the country’s past as in the economic reforms of the past twenty-five years.  In the first third of this course, we will discuss China’s last ruling dynasty (1644-1911), addressing topics such as rebellion, the opium trade, imperialism, and foot-binding.  We will then examine the Republican era (1911-1949), which saw the rise of Chinese nationalism, the outbreak of civil war, and the invasion of Japan in 1937.  In the final third of the semester, we will discuss the communist revolution, Maoist policies such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, and the remarkable development of China’s economy since 1978. 


HIS 317 Q                  HISTORY OF THE CARIBBEAN

TR 12:30PM-1:45PM


This course will introduce students to major topics, debates, and themes in Caribbean history from the fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries.  Areas of focus will include the dynamics of fifteenth-century Amerindian societies; the Columbian “encounter” and Spanish conquest of the Caribbean; piracy in the Spanish Caribbean by the British, French, and Dutch; the establishment by those powers of permanent colonial settlements in the region and the institution of the plantation complex based on the production of sugarcane through the labor of enslaved Africans. We will closely examine histories of slave resistance and rebellion, focusing in particular on the revolts in the French colony of Saint-Domingue that in 1804 culminated in the founding of Haiti, the second independent nation in the Western hemisphere after the United States. We will explore the shifting ways in which the Caribbean can be defined as a region over the course of these histories, and examine the centrality of the Caribbean to larger world histories of colonialism, capitalism, slavery and emancipation, migration, religious transformation, republicanism, and nation-state formation — in short to the making of the modern world. The class will visit the UM Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection and Special Collections to work on archival resources connected to our studies.


HIS 326 C                  THE HIGH AND LATE MIDDLE AGES: EUROPE 1095-1500 



This class will explore the major events, themes, and historical “problems” of the High and Late Middle Ages.  While the emergence and development of a unique Latin Christian civilization in Western Europe during this period will constitute our primary focus, we will place a strong emphasis on the importance of its regular and lasting contacts, conflicts, and connections with the wider world around it, especially the Byzantine and Islamicate civilizations. Some of the topics to be examined include: the Norman Conquest; the Commercial Revolution; the Crusades; the Twelfth-Century Renaissance; the Hundred Years’ War; and the Black Death. We will read modern works of scholarly interpretation and also engage extensively with primary sources written in the period of emphasis.




TR 12:30pm-1:45pm  


This course is an introductory survey of the Soviet Union. Starting with the revolutionary years of the late Russian Empire, we will cover the political, social, economic, and cultural spheres of the utopian Soviet experiment in the 20thcentury. Lectures will address some of the following topics: World War One and the revolutions of 1917; civil war and war communism; Marxism-Leninism; the role of terror, nationalism, and ethnic relations in Soviet politics and society; Stalinism; World War Two; the Cold War; state reform and political dissent; the collapse of the Soviet Union; and the rise of Putinism. The Soviet Union has been called an “Affirmative Action Empire” and an “Empire of Nations.” Embracing this approach, we will use primary source documents, novels, poems, songs, films, and images to explore the diverse range of daily experience that comprised this vast multinational state.



TR 3:30pm-4:45pm


This is a survey of European diplomacy in the crucial one hundred years between the Crimean War and the first phase of the Cold War, which ended with the building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis.  We begin with an examination of the international repercussions of the failed revolutions of 1848, the Crimean War, and Bismarck’s push to unify Germany. German unification in 1871 fundamentally changed the European system, and Bismarck subsequently tried to safeguard his creation through an intricate system of alliances (1871-1890) that barely survived his own downfall in March of 1890. Consequently, we next turn to the dissolution of Bismarck’s system, the creation of the Triple Entente, and Germany’s increasing diplomatic isolation in the two decades prior to the outbreak of World War I.  Other major topics include: the Great War and its consequences, the Versailles Treaty, the 1917 Russian revolution and diplomacy in the 1920s, the Europe of the Dictators, the origins of the Second World War, Great Power relations after the start of World War II in September 1939, the formation of the Grand Alliance and, finally, the roots and the early history of the Cold War.


HIS 355 H                  MODERN BRAZIL

MW 3:35pm-4:50pm


This course examines the history of modern Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, from its independence from Portugal in the 1820s to the present day. Approaching Brazil in its hemispheric, Atlantic, and global context, we will explore the processes through which different groups of people, often with conflicting interests and radically distinct goals, have come to imagine a sense of belonging to a larger “whole” that they now call Brazil. Topics include the meanings of independence; political cultures; slavery and abolition; struggles over citizenship and national identity in a multi-racial society; Brazil’s experiences with authoritarianism, dictatorship, and democracy; and present challenges posed by neoliberalism and globalization. This course is also designed to familiarize students with historical methods and analytical writing. Each week, we will build knowledge together from the analysis of primary sources that shed light on Brazil’s past, present, and future challenges. No prior knowledge of Brazilian history is required.


HIS 361 R                  AMERICAN COLONIAL HISTORY (1607-1763)                                                         

R 2:00pm-3:15pm


This course examines the colonization of British North America from the late sixteenth century to the eve of the American Revolution.  These years were marked by discord and innovation, as indigenous peoples, Africans, and Europeans of diverse nations collided to make a “New World.”  We will pay particular attention to the consequences of this colonial enterprise, highlighting such important issues as racism, gender dynamics, and cultural consolidation and dislocation.  In investigating these themes, we will draw on primary sources as well as scholarly monographs and articles in order to hone your skills of textual analysis.  The writing assignments, exams, and discussions are designed to help you think critically about the heated historical debates concerning this seminal era in American history.



W 2:00pm-4:30pm


This seminar-style course will trace Americans’ shifting attitudes toward nature and the environment in different periods of U.S. history. It will ask how people have viewed the environment, and what impact the meanings they have attached to their surroundings has had on their behavior. In addition, it will examine how Americans have altered the world around them, and what consequences their actions have had for the natural and human worlds. We will look at the variety of ways in which ideas about nature and environment have interacted with elements of American political, social, cultural, and economic history. Finally, we will discuss the rise of environmentalism, and the variety of public policy approaches the U.S. has taken (or failed to take) to preserve the natural landscape and promote sustainability.

Assignments include weekly readings and discussion, three short papers, and a final project. Students also will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with a local community organization that addresses some aspect of environmental policy and practice. The final project for the class will be the result of this experiential learning assignment and will take the form of a creative or scholarly project for evaluation.


HIS 373 R                  THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT 

TR 2:00pm-3:15pm


This course explores the history of the Civil Rights Movement.  We will examine the heightening African-American consciousness and expectations after World War II, the organizational and strategic initiatives of the 1950s and 1960s, the tumultuous confrontations of the period, the leadership personalities and differing ideologies, the civil rights legislation and federal programs enacted, and the continuing opposition to the movement and its gains.  Lectures will be supplemented with video documentaries, photographs, news clippings, recorded speeches and music from the instructor’s vast collection.

     The learning outcome goals of this course are to advance the students’ understanding of race relations and the African-American struggle and contribution to the United States of America, enhance cognitive, analytical, and critical thinking ability, and improve overall written and verbal communication skills.    

     The student’s grade for the course will be based on four book analyses of three pages each (12.5% each; 50%); participation in class discussion of required readings will count for extra credit; no midterm examination; a comprehensive in-class essay final examination (50%) based upon lectures, documentaries, and readings. 

     *A service-learning projectmay be done in lieu of two (2) of the book analyses or for extra credit.  This option does not alter the student’s responsibility to do all of the required reading.



HIS 374 S                   HISTORY OF FEMINISM

TR 3:30pm-4:45pm



HIS 379 P                   HISTORY OF THE OLD SOUTH (1607-1861) 

TR 11:00am-12:15pm


This course examines the history of the Old South.  We will discuss antebellum southern economic, social, and cultural development including the Cotton Boom, the growth and maturation of the plantation slave system, the southern defense of slavery, the growing political controversies with the North, and the development of a separate southern identity.  We will look at the experiences of many different groups of southerners – male and female, black and white, slave and free, slaveholder and nonslaveholder.  From these perspectives, we will attempt to discover what made this massive and diverse region into “The South,” and how this unifying concept of “southern-ness” came to be accepted by outsiders and southerners alike.  By 1861, this notion of southern distinctiveness would prove strong enough to overcome even the bonds of nationhood, pulling white southerners down the road to independence, war, and ultimately the destruction of the Old South.


HIS 396 Q                  SPECIAL TOPICS

TR 12:30pm-1:45pm



HIS 397 01                 INTERNSHIP




HIS 511/611 49         China and the Cold War

R 2:00pm-4:30pm


Nothing much happened in Europe during the Cold War; the continent was frozen for forty-five years into two opposing political and economic blocs along an unchanging front line.  The real action lay elsewhere.  This seminar examines the origins, events, and end of the Cold War in Asia, home to over a dozen “hot” wars and the most dramatic diplomatic realignment in history—Mao’s China with Nixon’s America.  This course will develop three principal themes: the geographic, military, and political centrality of Asia to the Cold War; the role of international political economy in defining the conflict; and the importance of ideology in shaping the perception of national interests.  In the first section of the course, we will discuss the Chinese civil war, Soviet-American rivalry in areas such as Korea and the Taiwan Straits, and the reemergence of Japan as a global economic and political actor.  We then focus on the Sino-Soviet split during the 1960s, the Sino-Indian War of 1962, and Richard Nixon’s strategic alignment with Communist China in the early 1970s.  In the final part of the class, we explore the Vietnam War, the normalization of Sino-American relations in the late 1970s, and the unpredicted conclusion of the Cold War in the late 1980s.


HIS 535/635             The History of Rivers

M 2:00PM-4:30PM


In this course we will concentrate on two fundamental questions about the history of rivers: How has human history entwined with rivers and river valleys? How, consequently, has the history of rivers been written as the history of people and cultures along rivers? Through weekly discussions of assigned readings, we will examine different approaches to the writing of river history: river biographies; the history of environmental engineering and change along rivers; the history of river cities; and the history of rivers as connectors. Our geographical scope will be global. All students will write a term paper on the history of one selected river, applying the knowledge from our discussions to an assessment of how that river's history has thus far been written.


HIS544/646 47         Nazi Germany, 1933-1939

W 4:30pm-7:00pm 


This seminar focuses on the first phase of the Third Reich: the peace-time years beginning with Hitler’s accession to the chancellorship on January 30, 1933 and ending with the outbreak of war on September 1, 1939.  It is directed toward an audience of advanced undergraduate students who are willing and able to shoulder significant amounts of reading.  We first examine the period of the Nazi seizure of power in 1933/34 and then concentrate on the formation of the Nazi state and the interconnected issues of re-armament, economic and foreign policies, and the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi regime.  Since 1945, more has been written on Nazi Germany than on any other period of History. As a result, numerous controversial issues have emerged in the complex historiography of Nazism.  In the course of this seminar we will therefore also pay attention to the scholarly debates that are connected with the topics under discussion, in particular the “Historikerstreit” of the 1980s which, more than any other dispute among historians, demonstrates the relevance of the Nazi period for political discourse long after the defeat of the Third Reich.


HIS 551/652 41          Latin America in the Age of Emancipation

T 2:00pm-4:30pm  


This course explores the range of ways in which Afro-Latin Americans resisted, reshaped, and helped overthrow slavery in South America and the Caribbean during the long nineteenth century. We start with the world created by the Haitian Revolution in the late eighteenth century and conclude in the dawn of the twentieth century with a discussion of the meanings of freedom in post-emancipation societies such as Brazil and Cuba. Students will learn about the lived experiences of rebels, maroons, sailors, slave and free black communities within an Atlantic perspective. In particular, this course examines individual and collective strategies deployed by slaves to navigate a political landscape characterized by the rise of global capitalism and popular struggles over rights to citizenship. We will read primary accounts and a novel, as well as monographic works on Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil, and the United States as a point of comparison.



HIS 569/669 69         Black Protest Thought 

T 5:00pm-7:30pm


         African-American history is a cutting-edge field in research, scholarship, and overall importance to the history profession.  No area of academic inquiry is pregnant with more heated debates, intellectual challenges, and societal insights.  Throughout the history of Black folk in America there has been a wide range of thought about what should be the right course of action or agenda for the race.  The thinking has ranged the gamut from the advocacy of freedom “By Any Means Necessary” to accommodation and integration, to the building of a separate Black nation within America, to the Back-to-Africa Movements.  This seminar will probe the thinking and formulations of those Black leaders.  While our concentration will be on African-American leadership, we will have a strong comparative component as we also explore the ideas of some of the key leaders of African descent in other parts of the Diaspora during the all-important foundation years of the late 19thand 20thCenturies.

     The learning outcome goals of this course are to advance the students’ understanding of race relations and the African-American struggle and contribution to the United States of America, enhance cognitive, analytical, and critical thinking ability, and improve overall written and verbal communication skills.    

     The student’s grade for the seminar shall be based on contribution to discussion (20%), two oral presentations (15% each; 30%), and a fifteen-page primary source research paper (50%) that explores a topic of the student’s choice within the theme of the course. 

     *Service-learning project may be done in lieu of the research paper. 


HIS 716 71                 CARIBBEAN FIELD PREP

W 11:30AM-2:00PM


This seminar is designed to help Ph.D. students prepare for a comprehensive exam area in Caribbean history, centering on the late eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. Students will have the chance to discuss and place in conversation influential works on Caribbean slavery and anti-slavery; the Haitian Revolution and its legacies; “second slavery” in Cuba; abolitionism and emancipation in the British Caribbean and across the region; struggles on the parts of freed people and their descendants over land, labor, and citizenship; the arrival and experience of Indian, Chinese, and West African indentured workers inpre- and post-emancipation Caribbean societies; the Cuban wars of independence; and the U.S. annexation of Puerto Rico and occupations of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. The seminar will focus on major themes, debates, and questions in the historiographical literature, encouraging comparative analysis.


HIS 762 72                History as a Profession

W 9:00am-11:30am




HIS 763 76               Science, Magic, and Medicine in the Early Modern World 

T 9:30am-12:00pm


The period 1490 to roughly 1730, generally termed the "early modern" era, was, as two highly respected historians of science have described it, "pregnant with expectations of things to come."  This sense of anticipation and newness has famously been interpreted in two ways:  as Max Weber's the "demythologizing of the world" and as the idea that the "Scientific Revolution" represented the "birth of the modern world" (Herbert Butterfield in 1949).  Both argued that the decline of superstition and magic resulted from the impact of the "Scientific Revolution" of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. More recently, however, and certainly since the last third of the twentieth century, scholars have raised numerous objections to the idea of a significant break in how people viewed and interpreted the world about them. Much of this work is reflected in the books and articles that we will be reading this semester.  Steven Shapin, for example, argued provocatively that "there is no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it."  Others have doubted every word in the phrase "The Scientific Revolution" including the definite article.  The general thrust of recent scholarship, therefore, has been to downplay, or even deny, the suddenness of the break between a "medieval" and a "modern" worldview, to question the putative differences between science and magic, to expand the idea of where and how science was "done" (that is, the "sites" of science) and to consider the importance of all sorts of actors once ignored by historians of science: women, merchants, artisans, and "magicians" (including alchemists).  This course begins with an examination of the more traditional views of the Scientific Revolution before moving on to examine the ways in which the history of science has been transformed over the past thirty years or so.  Indeed, this transformation has rendered the history of science absolutely critical to all early modern scholars.  Historians of the modern world can do quite nicely withoutever reading a work on the history of science; that is now impossible for any well-educated early modernist.