Course Schedules and Descriptions for Winter Quarter 2018

The Department of History scheduled these undergraduate courses for WINTER QUARTER 2018. This list is subject to change, so please check back often.

picture of history course

Registration appointment times available on Schedule Builder and myucdavis.

HIS 4C - 72A

History 4C: History of Western Civilization

Professor Zientek

Course Description: TBA


History 7B: History of Latin America, 1700-1900

Professor Walker 

History 7B covers Latin American from 1700 to 1900. Among the topics we will study are slave uprisings, the mass rebellions of the eighteenth century, the wars of independence, nationalism and caudillos, and export economies. The course focuses on social history how different groups lived and shaped these processes.


  • Charles Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion
  • Anne Alexander, City on Fire: Technology, Social Change, and the Hazards of Progress in Mexico City, 1860-1910
  • Louis Pérez, 1898
  • Sandra L. Graham, Caetana Says No


Grading: 2 exams and short papers 

History 9A: History of East Asian Civilization

Professor Javers

This course is an introduction to the cultural history of China.  Through a survey of Chinese history from earliest times to the present day, we attempt to identify the cultural attitudes and practices that have shaped and continue to shape the course of Chinese history.  Readings include a textbook to help provide general background and chronology, a sourcebook of primary source documents, and an additional primary source reader.  


History 10C: World History 1850 - Present 

Professor El Shakry

This is a course in the history of the world since 1850 that will highlight five themes: the global formation of capitalism and industrialism; warfare and techno-politics; the rival ideologies of liberalism, fascism, and communism; anticolonial nationalism, decolonization, and revolutionary struggles; and globalization. In particular, we will focus on the role of non-Europeans in the making of the modern world and will learn to think historically about global structures of inequality. Our focus will be on modernity as a process of creative destruction. We will begin with the global world of the 19th century and end by asking if we live in what the philosopher Gilles Deleuze calls a “Society of Control.” The emphasis will be on understanding comparisons and connections across multiple societies and histories rather than comprehensive coverage.


  • Robert Tignor, et. al., Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World, 1750-present Volume C, 3rd ed. or 4th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011, 2014).
  • Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (New York: Touchstone, 1996).
  • Domitila Barrios de Chungara with Moema Viezzer, Let Me Speak—Domitila, Testimony of Domitila, A Woman of the Bolivian Mines (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978).
  • Sonallah Ibrahim, The Committee, trans. Mary St. Germain and Charlene Constable (Syracuse, NY: 2001).


History 12: Food and History

Professor McKee and Professor Resendez

This course surveys how humans have fed themselves from the time they were hunter gatherers to the present and shows how new feeding patterns have transformed cultures, economies, and societies. This historical survey traces the transformation of plants and animals into food, cooking into cuisine, ceremony into etiquette, and mother’s cooking into tradition. In short, the lectures cover the social and political implications of food and its consumption on a global scale from pre-history to the twentieth century. The first half of the quarter will follow the passage from hunter gatherers to settled agriculturalists, and long-distance traders, culminating with the Columbian and Magellan exchanges across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans respectively. The course will then examine the rise of a global economy in foodstuffs, including spices, tea, and coffee, the emergence of national cuisines, the industrialization of food in the twentieth century, and the impact of immigration on global culinary tastes.


  • Wrangham, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
  • Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
  • Jeffrey Pilcher, ¡Que Vivan los Tamales!
  • Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation


Requirements and Grading Percentages

Your final grade will be determined by:

1) Midterm Exam (20%)

2) Final Exam (20%)

3) Participation (class and section) (20%)

4) Two essays (40%)


History 15: Africa to 1900- States and Societies, slavery, and the Scramble

Professor Decker

With 55 countries, over one billion people, thousands of languages, and a geographic area that surpasses the United States, China, and Europe combined, the defining characteristic of the continent of Africa is its diversity. History 15 introduces students to key shifts in African history to 1900, including major states and societies, the spread of world religions, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the onset of European colonialism. This class introduces students to African history methodologies, such as the interpretation of oral and written primary sources, scholarly debates, music, film, art, and other sources. What sparked the rise of kingdoms in the ancient world? What was the impact of the slave trade on Africa? Which of Africa’s resources sparked conquest and economic exploitation? We will tackle these and other important questions in this course.

Required Books

Kevin Shillington, History of Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

D.T. Niane, ed., Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali (Pearson Higher Education, 2006)
Getz and Clarke, Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History (Oxford Univ. Press, 2011)


History 17A: History of the United States

Professor Downs

This course explores the United States from its earliest settlement to the Civil War, with special emphasis upon the development of indigenous and settler societies in the region that became the United States, the formation of a new nation through a multi-sided war, and the expansion and eventual overthrow of plantation slavery. 


History 17B: History of the United States 

Professor Rauchway

This course provides an introduction to the history of the United States since the Civil War. We will explore social, economic, cultural, and political changes on the domestic front as well as the nation’s expansion abroad. Course topics include industrialization, immigration, race relations, the role of the federal government, foreign policy, reform and social protest movements. As a survey, the course is designed to introduce key themes and events in modern American history, and to develop students’ critical thinking, writing, and reading skills.


History 72A: History of the United States 

Professor Hartigan-O'Connor

History 72A is an introduction to the history of early American women—as a group, as individuals, and as members of different classes, races, and ethnic communities.  Using the themes of production and reproduction, we will explore both the daily lives of women and the changing concepts of “woman” and “womanhood” over time and region.  Through primary sources, scholarly literature and films, we will meet native American traders, accused witches, seduced girls, “true women,” enslaved mothers and western missionaries.  The course will pay particular attention to the interactions between groups of women and the significance of gender in determining women’s experiences, using comparisons among groups, individuals, regions, and across time wherever possible.


  • Melton A. McLaurin, Celia, a Slave
  • Nancy Cott, Root of Bitterness
  • Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple
  • Elaine G. Breslaw, Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem
  • Camilla Townsend, Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma


There will also be a small packet of additional readings.

Grading: Grading is based upon paper assignments, section participation, a midterm, and a final examination.

HIS 102F - 102Q

History 102F: Sputnik, Chernobyl, and Beyond:  A History of Science in Russia and the Soviet Union

Professor Campbell

Scientists and Stalin both claimed authority to speak the absolute truth.  This was fine, as long as they agreed.  What happened when they disagreed?  In this course, we'll find out.

This seminar explores the relationship between science and autocratic/totalitarian rule in Russia over the past two centuries.  We'll pay particularly close attention to the competing visions that scientists and rulers had for transforming society, and the political games that scientists played to (quite literally) survive in this environment.

Along the way we'll journey to the wildest corners of Russia, from the grimy alleys of St. Petersburg where criminology got its start, to the Aleutian Islands where naturalists watched, and worried, as sailors hunted fur seals with impunity; to the steppes of Soviet Kazakhstan where doctors tried to "civilize" nomads through medicine.

Your grade will be based on participation, three short papers, and one longer final paper developed over the course of the quarter.


  • Ryan Jones, Empire of Extinction
  • Louise Reynolds, Murder Most Russian
  • Stephen Brain, Song of the Forest
  • Paula Michaels, Curative Powers
  • Loren Graham, The Ghost of the Executed Engineer
  • Asif Siddiqi, The Red Rockets' Glare
  • Kate Brown, Plutopia
  • Sonja Schmid, Producing Power


History 102K

Professor Smolenski

Course Description: TBA


History 102M

Professor Oropeza

Recent decades have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of immigrants as a result of changes in legislation and in the U.S. economy.  This course aims at helping students move past easy slogans and angry rhetoric to gain a deeper understanding of the contours and origins of today's immigration debates from the Chinese Exclusion Act to today's proposed travel bans. When did the United States start immigration restriction and why? What structural changes have occurred in recent decades that contributed to the current state of affairs? What difference would a wall make? How generous is the United States really when it comes to admitting refugees from war-torn nations? The class seeks to use historical inquiry to start addressing these questions and others.

The class requirements will ask students to explore digital archives, watch documentaries, and conduct an oral history interview with an immigrant.


A handful of articles will be assigned. The required books are:

ISBN-13: 978-0807079836

Title: Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire 

Author: Margaret Regan

Copyright: 2016

ISBN-13: 978-0691160825


Title: Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America

Author: Mae M. Ngai

Copyright:  Updated edition with a New Foreword edition (April 27, 2014)


History 102Q: Gandhi: A Historical Perspective 

Professor Sen

This seminar is an introduction to the history of Mahatma Gandhi's struggle for political rights and moral justice in South Africa and British-India, and the development of his ideas of civil-disobedience, non-violence and Satyagraha. It will explore the historical context that shaped Gandhi's ideas and experiments. It will delve into some of the reasons why Gandhi's methods of peaceful resistance appealed to South Asian immigrant workers fighting for racial justice in South Africa, to Indian peasants rising up against economic oppression in British India, and also to middle-class Indians who decided to break their ties to the British colonial administration and join the struggle for political emancipation. It will also address why some of Gandhi's ideas were rejected and reviled, even during his lifetime, and how they played a role in his eventual assassination. 

HIS 110A - 196A

History 110A: Colonialism and the making of the Modern World 

Professor El Shakry

This course will be a thematic exploration of colonialism as an historical, political, cultural, and psychological experience. We may explore topics such as: the Spanish conquest of Mexico; the Atlantic slave trade; the Haitian Revolution; British colonialism in India and Egypt; the Belgian Congo; liberalism and empire; the relation between Self and Other in the colonial encounter; the psychology of race and racism; and anti-colonial nationalism and decolonization. We will mobilize a diverse array of primary and secondary sources, novels, and films in our exploration.


  • Miguel Leon-Portilla, The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • M.K. Gandhi, Hind Swaraj
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth


History 115B: Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean World

Professor Decker

What are the origins of cultural and economic connections between East Africa and the Indian Ocean? When and how did Eastern Africans convert to Christianity and Islam? What the are the legacies slavery and European colonialism? This course investigates these and other questions about the history of human trafficking, Arab and European colonization, nationalism, genocide, religious missions, and human rights. We will address changing experiences of race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and ethnicity. This course includes discussion of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, and Malawi, as well as the Arab, Persian, South Asian, European, and North American communities who have helped shape Eastern African history. 

Required Texts:

-Henri Medard and Shane Doyle, eds., Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa (Ohio University Press, 2007)

-Nega Mezlekia, Notes from the Hyena’s Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood (Picador, 2002)

-Additional readings will be available on Canvas.


HIS 120: World War II

Professor Kelman and Professor Eric Rauchway

The Second World War from 1931 to 1945 in all of its theaters. Causes, conduct, and consequences of the war including military, political, economic, social, and cultural factors, with special emphasis on battlefield strategy and mobilization of the home front.


HIS 125: Topics in Early Modern European History

 Professor Stuart

Course Description: TBA


HIS 131B: European History during the Renaissance and Reformation

Professor Harris

History 131B, “European History During the Renaissance and Reformation” explores the history of western Europe between the late fifteenth and the mid-seventeenth centuries, a complex period that marked the turn from the medieval to the modern world. This course will explore this slow shift and the ideas and events which characterized it, devoting particular attention to changing concepts of community and identity and to links between religious ideas and social, political, and cultural change. Topics include humanism, European expansion in the Americas and beyond, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, social status and gender roles, and the development of the modern state and of modern economic forms.


History 136: Scientific Revolution

Professor Stolzenberg

What does it mean to understand nature in modern—and pre-modern—ways? Today we take for granted that science involves mathematical laws, experimentation, discovering new phenomena, and the creation of technologies that provide power over nature. None of these was true about European natural science in 1500. All had become widely accepted by 1700. This class treats the transformation of European ideas about nature, knowledge, and technology during the age of Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. We will explore the intellectual culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to examine issues such as scientific methods, instruments and experimentation, religion, and the control of nature. Topics include astronomy, physics, chemistry/alchemy, natural magic, medicine, and natural history. Evaluation is based on short writing assignments, quizzes, midterm, and final. This course satisfies GE requirements for AH, SS, and WC. There are no prerequisites and no prior knowledge is necessary.


  • Peter Dear, The Scientific Revolution and miscellaneous primary sources


HIS 142B: The Memory of the Holocaust

Professor Biale

Examination of the literary, philosophical, theological and artistic responses to the Holocaust of the European Jews. Exploration of how memory is constructed, by whom and for what purposes. 


History 145: War and Revolution in Europe

Professor Campbell

The long 19th century, from the French Revolution until the outbreak of World War I, witnessed the gradual emergence of a new kind of warfare – the total war, in which states sought to make use of all their natural and human resources.  This attempt was closely connected with economic transformations, new political formations, and significant new demands on the populations of European states.

Studying the 19th century in Europe through a military lens is therefore much more than listing battles and dates.  It is the study of a continent-wide reformation of society and politics, and, just as important, the study of how European populations responded to the new demands being made of them.  In this context, we’ll explore, among other topics, the formation of new social classes and political movements; the consolidation of European nations; and multiple dimensions of European expansion in Africa and Asia.  We’ll pay particular attention to the relationship between the way that European states sought to fight wars and their internal political, social, and economic developments.  

No prior knowledge is assumed; familiarity with modern European history (course 4C or similar) will be helpful.  Students will be evaluated on the basis of four short papers and a final exam (NO MIDTERM).  


  • David Fromkin, Europe’s Last Summer
  • P. M. Jones, The French Revolution, 1787-1804 (3rd ed.)
  • Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard
  • Mark Traugott, Armies of the Poor
  • Jakob Walter, Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier


Additional primary and secondary sources on Canvas


History 161: Human Rights in Latin America, Winter 2018

Professor Walker

This course examines the origin of the concept of human rights globally and its impact and development in Latin America. We will pay particular attention to certain countries (Argentina and Chile), but students will be allowed to develop their own interests. Key topics include the Cold War; violence and memory; and truth commissions and justice.



Grading: 2 exams and 2 or 3 papers


HIS 164: History of Chile

Professor Schlotterbeck

In 2011, Chilean students occupied the streets and their schools en masse. Like the nearly simultaneous Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements, the “Chilean Winter” struck a deep chord of discontent over growing inequality. What began as protests over education quickly morphed into a challenge of the dictatorship’s market-driven policies – and by extension – the legitimacy of a political system that still maintained them twenty years after General Augusto Pinochet left office. Born after the 1990 democratic transition, this so-called “generation without fear” has returned not just to the streets but also to politics in new and exciting ways.

This course situates contemporary student protests within the long sweep of Chilean history from the 1500s to the present. Three central questions will guide our thinking: how did everyday people experience key moments of social and political transformation? What role have young people played historically as agents of change? And finally, how does taking the historical agency of children seriously challenge our larger assumptions about history?

Beginning with the construction of the Chilean nation in the 19th century, we will examine how states are formed from colonial territories and how national communities are defined and consolidated along exclusionary lines of race, class, and gender. Turning to the 20th century, we will assess competing strategies for economic development and demands by different sectors for political, social, and economic inclusion. The final unit on historical memory in the post-dictatorship era considers how the past continues to act on the present and asks what elements of this history might be of value in imagining alternatives in the present and future.

Required Readings:

  • The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke, 2013)
  • Steve Stern, Remembering Pinochet’s Chile (2004)
  • Carmen Aguirre, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (2012)
  • Steve Reifenberg, Santiago’s Children: What I Learned about Life at an Orphanage in Chile (2008)
  • Alejandro Zambra, Ways of Going Home: A Novel (2014)


Additional required readings are available on Canvas


HIS 169B: Mexican-American History 

Professor Oropeza

This course offers an overview of the political, social and cultural experiences of Mexicans and Mexican Americans within the United States since 1900.  Throughout most of the twentieth century, people of Mexican descent have found themselves valued as laborers in the United States but more rarely considered worthy of first-class citizenship. Thus, a central task for members of this ethnic group  --women and men alike -- has been defining and defending their place within the United States especially in light of continued immigration from Latin America. To better understand the continual negotiation between this ethnic Mexican margin and the American mainstream, the themes of the course include the malleability of ethnic identity, the struggle for economic opportunity, civil rights, and social justice, the construction of Mexican American communities, and the changing significance of the border.


These are the required books:


ISBN-13: 978-0520213333
Title: Rebirth: Mexican Los Angeles from the Great Migration to the Great Depression
Author: Douglas Monroy
Copyright: 1999


ISBN-13: 978-0292712492
Title: Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism
Author: Patrick Carroll
Copyright: 2003


ISBN-13: 978-1939994646
Title: Chicano Movement For Beginners
Author: Maceo Montoya
Copyright: 2016


ISBN-13: 978-0807079836
Title: Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire 
Author: Margaret Regan
Copyright: 2016


HIS 170A: Colonial America

Professor Smolenski

Course Description: TBA


History 171B: Civil War Era 

Professor Down

This course explores the Civil War Era, both the deadliest war in American history and the explosive political fights over slavery that brought on the war and the extraordinary, if short-lived, revolutionary experiments with biracial democracy in the Reconstruction that followed.  The course thus covers not just battlefield contests but also the expansion of plantation slavery and the development of a powerful pro-slavery politics in the South, and the creation of a free labor ideology in an industrializing North.  The course also covers the military conflict that resolved some of those issues and the political and legal resolutions that shaped the making of the modern United States. 


HIS 174C: The United States since 1945

Professor Olmsted 

This course examines the history of the United States from the end of the Second World War to the present.  We’ll examine social movements (civil rights, feminism, black power, gay rights, environmentalism, the New Right); economic changes; the Cold War and its domestic effects; the growth of executive power; political realignments; and post-Cold War foreign policy.  

Grading: TBA


  • Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America
  • Christian Appy, Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides
  • Bradford Martin, The Other Eighties: A Secret History of America in the Age of Reagan
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness


History 177A: History of Black People and American Race Relations, 1450- 1860

Professor Leroy

This course takes us from the west coast of Africa to the battlefields of the Civil War in a survey of early African American history, from its origins until 1877. Beginning with the Atlantic slave trade and concluding with the fall of Reconstruction, slavery—and the fight to end it—is the central focus of this course. We will frame slavery as crucial to understanding U.S. history broadly, rather than a system that was confined to the South. In particular, we will explore the role of enslaved people and black abolitionists in bringing about emancipation; the importance of gender and women’s labor to the plantation economy; and the relationship between slavery and capitalism. African American history is often a story of the steady march from slavery to freedom, but we will pay as much attention to the setbacks and contradictions of this forward movement in order to tease out the promises, potential, and limitations of freedom for black people in the United States. 


History 179: Asian American history, 1850-Present

Professor Tsu

Course Description: TBA


History 184: History of Sexuality in the US

 Course Description: TBA


History 191C: Late Imperial China

Professor Javers

Patterns and problems of Chinese life traced through the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties (c. 1500–1800), prior to the confrontation with the West in the Opium War. Readings include primary sources and novels portraying elite ethos as well as popular culture. 


HIS 191F: History of the People’s Republic of China

Professor Chiang 

Comprehensive analysis of recent Chinese history, including land reform, the Cultural Revolution, the post-Mao era, and the consequences of the new economic policies of the 1980s. Special attention will be paid to China’s engagement with the wider world, such as the Cold War, global Maoism, and the rise of the PRC empire. 


History 194A: Aristocratic and Feudal Japan

Professor Kim

 Course Description: TBA


HIS 196A: Medieval India

Professor Sen 

This is a survey of history of India from the period of the decline of the imperial Guptas during the sixth century CE to the end of the Mughal Empire and rise of British rule during the eighteenth century CE. It focuses on the rise and fall of Buddhism, the emergence of regional kingdoms and states, the coming of Turkish rule and early forms of Islam, the successive regimes of the Delhi Sultanate, and the rise and decline of the Mughal Empire.