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Yearly Schedule: 2015-2016

For a tentative list of courses for the 2015-2016 academic year click here.

Click here to see a full list of courses from the General Catalog


Expanded Course Descriptions 2015

Below is a listing of the courses offered by the History Department to undergraduates for Summer Sessions 1 & 2 and Fall 2015. This list is subject to change, please check back often. To find the day, time and course registration number (CRN) for the courses below click here.


Winter Quarter 2016

(Check back soon for updates)

History 4B – History of Western Civilization
Professor Stuart 

Development of western civilization from the Renaissance to the Eighteenth Century.


History 6 – Introduction to the Middle East

Professor Desouza

Survey of the major social, economic, political and cultural transformations in the Middle East from the rise of Islam (c. 600 A.D.) to the present, emphasizing themes in religion and culture, politics and society.

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

Professor Lauhon

This course explores the history of Spanish and Portuguese America from the apogee of the colonial regime (circa 1700) to the emergence and consolidation of independent republics during the long nineteenth century. The lectures, readings, and discussion sections will address topics such as the nature of Iberian colonialism in the Americas; the causes for its decline and thus the nature of the struggles for independence; the creation of nation states; the difficulties in consolidating these nations; and the rise of liberalism and export economies in the latter part of the nineteenth century. While paying close attention to political and economic developments, our focus will be social: how did the diverse people of Latin America view, live, participate in, and benefit from or suffer these changes? Key themes of the course will resonate in contemporary Latin America: race and gender relations, economic dependency, political instability, popular protest, and the importance of geography. This is the middle course of a three-course sequence devoted to the history of Latin America. Each course can be taken independently. 


Charles F. Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion

John Lynch, Argentine Caudillo

Sandra Lauderdale Graham, Caetana Says No

William H. Beezley, Judas at the Jockey Club 

History 9B – History of East Asian Civilization

Professor Kim

This course offers an introduction to Japanese history from the beginning of its recorded history to the first decade of 21st century. Japan constitutes a civilization similar to and yet different from both its East Asian neighbors and Western counterparts. This course presents Japanese history as a dazzling tapestry of human ingenuity, creativity, struggle and suffering not just uniquely Japanese but also rich in universal implications.  Understanding Japanese civilization is not only to get to know a distinctive and fascinating world, but also to gain profound insights into the world outside the United States, a task more urgent than ever in the 21st century. The basic orientation of this class will be to first and foremost present the history of Japan as Japanese saw it, even if such visions go against our preconceived notions of Japanese culture and behavior.   This course, therefore, will not be devoted to Japan-American relations or history of Japanese Americans. These topics are explored in other courses offered by the History Department Faculty.


  • Brett Walker, A Concise History of Japan (Main textbook)


History 10B – History of Western Civilization

Professor Stolzenberg

This course explores the roots of the modern global order in the large-scale processes that transformed the world between the mid-fourteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries: the intensification of cross-cultural contacts and conflicts, technological and environmental change, the emergence of the first truly global exchange network, the transformation of warfare by gunpowder, the rise of centralized bureaucratic states, the end of the era of agrarian civilizations, and the origins of industrialization, capitalism, and modern imperialism.


•             Tignor, et al. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, vol. B

•             Said Hamdun, Ibn Battuta in Black Africa

•             Noel Perrin, Giving Up the Gun

•             Sparks, Two Princes of Calabar

Grading: TBA


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 with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Arab Uprisings. 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, Third Edition
  • Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
  • Yuan-tsung Chen, The Dragon’s Village
  • Domitila Barrios de Chungara with Moema Viezzer, Let me speak—Domitila, Testimony of Domitila, A Woman of the Bolivian Mines
  • Sonallah Ibrahim, The Committee


History 12 – Food and History

Professors McKee

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
  • Mints, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
  • Zola. The Belly of Paris.


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 based on Wrangham and Zola (40%)

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, Civil War to the Present

Professor Oropeza

The experience of the American people from the Civil War to the end of the Cold War.


History 72B – Social History of American Women and Family

Professor Materson

This course examines the ways that diverse groups of women--including black, Native American, Asian American, Chicana, and white women of the elite, middle, and working classes--have forged and experienced American culture and democracy.  Readings emphasize women's engagement in organized struggles for economic, political and social justice during the twentieth century.  These include the suffrage, anti-lynching, racial uplift, labor, and modern civil rights and feminist movements.  The course also explores American women's migration and immigration across regions and borders.  Students consider the meaning of migration and immigration to the women who undertook these journeys, as well as the influence of these women's decisions to relocate on American political, economic, and social institutions.


  • TBA




HIS 102D - Identity and Imposture in Early Modern Europe

Professor Harris

Who are you, and how do you know? The way you answer will tell you a lot about the norms and assumptions of our own (post)modern age. But how did people in earlier centuries think about their identity or identities, or those of others? And how did they know if someone really was who or what he or she claimed to be? Our seminar will examine two sides of identity—self-invention and imposture—in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, an age before before photo ids, fingerprinting, or even regular recordkeeping, but also an age in which the representatives of an ever expanding state were developing new methods of identification and investigation. Our readings will range from classic case studies to the latest scholarship, coupled with selections from primary sources drawn from archives and libraries around Europe. Assignments will include weekly reading responses, discussion leadership, as well as a series of short writing assignments (including a primary source analysis and an annotated bibliography) that will culminate in a term paper that explores some aspect of the seminar’s topic and questions via a close analysis of an assigned primary source.

Selected readings:

•  Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre

•  Catalina de Erauso, Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World

•  Jeffrey S. Ravel, The Would-Be Commoner: A Tale of Deception, Murder, and Justice in Seventeenth-Century France

•  Mercedes Garcia-Arenal and Gerard Wiegers, A Man of Three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew in Catholic and Protestant Europe

•  Judith C. Brown, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy

•  Ingrid Rowland, The Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery

•  Valentin Groebner, Who Are You?: Identification, Deception, and Surveillance in Early Modern Europe

•  Jon R. Snyder, Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe

HIS 102E - The Experience of Combat in 20th Century Europe

Professor Zientek

History 102H – Cultural Confrontations:  China and the West in the 19th century

Professor Bossler

This course examines the range of interaction between China and the West in the 19th century, from Western missionary, commercial, and military ventures in China, to Chinese experiences on American and British soil.  In order to explore the nature and impact of cultural exchange in this period, we will read a variety of original sources by Westerners who went to China in the period, including missionary accounts, records of diplomatic missions, and the personal memoirs of traders and explorers.  We will also read, in translation, documents by Chinese who interacted with Westerners in China or on foreign soil.  Readings include, but are not limited to, selections from the following:



            Doolittle, SOCIAL LIFE OF THE CHINESE

            Arkush and Lee, eds., LAND WITHOUT GHOSTS

            Chien, Helen H. (translator), THE EUROPEAN DIARY OF HSIEH FUCHENG

            Yung Wing, MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA

            Wilson, James Harrison, CHINA, TRAVELS AND INVESTIGATIONS IN THE MIDDLE KINGDOM           

Grading:  TBA 

History 102M: America in the 1980s

Professor Tsu

Course Description

This seminar examines the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the United States during the 1980s, one of the most tumultuous and controversial decades in popular memory.  Topics include the rise of a new conservative movement, the collapse of the Cold War, growing economic inequality, changing family and gender values, the impact of new influxes of immigrants and refugees, and redefinitions in popular culture in the era of action heroes, cable television, and MTV.  We will draw on primary documents—political speeches, newspaper articles, films, song lyrics, music videos, and fiction,—and consider the ways in which scholars have analyzed this recent history.  While we will devote the bulk of our attention to the 1980s, this course will also reach back to the 1960s and 1970s, as well as evaluate the continued legacy of the 1980s in contemporary America.

History 102X – A Global History of Death

Professor Javers

Readings include:

                * Coramac Ó Gráda, Famine: A Short History

                * Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Death Without Weeping: The Violence of                                 Everyday Life in Brazil

                * Mark Rowlands, Animals Like Us

                * Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famine and the Making of the Third World

                * Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War

                * Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

History 102X –

Professor El Shakry

Description: This course will be a thematic exploration of colonialism as an historical, political, cultural, and psychological experience. We will explore topics such as the relation between Self and Other in the colonial encounter; the horror of racial difference; the psychology of colonialism; the connections between European ideologies, such as liberalism, to colonialism; political technologies of colonial rule; tradition, terror, and torture; necropolitics; and the (im)possibility of decolonization. The focus of our readings will be on European colonialisms in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with special attention to colonial Algeria and colonial India. We will mobilize a diverse array of primary and secondary sources, novels, and films in our exploration.

Selected texts:

Albert Camus, The Stranger

Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism 

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth

Assia Djebar, Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade 

History 113: History of Modern Israel

Professor Biale

Topics include the rise and fall of utopian Zionism, the century-long struggle between Jews and Arabs, the development of modern Hebrew culture, the conflict between religious and secular Jews, and the nature of Israel’s multicultural society. 


History 115A – History of West Africa

Professor Jean-Baptiste

Introductory survey of the history of West Africa and/or the Congo region from the earliest times to the present. 


History 130B – Christianity and Culture in Europe, 1450-1600

Professor Harris

Between 1450 and 1600, Christianity in Europe underwent dramatic transformations that permanently redefined the continent's religious landscape. While most medieval Europeans had shared a common Catholic faith, by the end of the sixteenth century, uniformity of belief and identity had been permanently destroyed, replaced by a kaleidoscope of competing churches, sects, and factions. Together, we will explore the ideas and events of the European Reformations, both Protestant and Catholic, devoting particular attention to changing concepts of community and identity and the links between religious beliefs and social, political, and cultural change. Our readings and discussions will examine not only the ideas of the key thinkers of the period, such as Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Loyola, but also the effects of their ideas on Europeans of all walks of life. Readings will range from recent scholarly studies to trial records, letters, treatises, and other primary sources from the epoch.


•  Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations

•  Jean de Jussie, The Short Chronicle

•  Sara Tilghman Nalle, Mad for God

•  Course reader        

Grading: 25% paper #1, 25% paper #2, 20% midterm, 20% final exam, 10% preparation, participation, quizzes, and other assignments

History 132 – Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe

Professor Stuart

Deviance and crime in early modern Europe, contrasting imaginary crimes, e.g. witchcraft, with “real” crimes such as highway robbery and infanticide. Examines impact of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and class in processes of criminalization.

History 133 – Age of Ideas

Professor Stolzenberg

This course examines European intellectual history from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Through lectures, discussion, and reading primary sources by authors such as Machiavelli, Las Casas, Descartes, Hobbes, and Rousseau, we will explore the epoch-making changes that took place in how Europeans sought knowledge of politics, nature, God, and the human condition between 1400 and 1800, laying the intellectual foundations for the modern world.


•  Rousseau, A Discourse of Inequality

•  Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditation on First Philosophy

•   Voltaire, Candide

•   Wooton ed. Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings

Grading: TBA

History 141 – France Since 1815

Professor Zientek


History 146B – Europe in the Twentieth Century

Professor Dickinson

Survey of the history of Europe from 1919 to 1939.

History 161 – Human Rights

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. We will take advantage of the visit (Wednesday Feb. 3 at the Mondavi Center, part of the Campus Community Book Project) by author Matt Taibbi to hear him speak and to read his book about inequality in the United States.

Grading: 2 exams and 2 or 3 papers (to be confirmed)


        Andrew Clapham, Human Rights: A very short introduction

        Matt Taibbi, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth

Michael Lazzara, Luz Arce and Pinochet's Chile: Testimony in the Aftermath of State Violence (Palgrave 2011)

Jacobo Timerman, Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number (The Americas) 


History 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 exiting ways.


This course situates contemporary student protests within the long sweep of Chilean history from the 1500s to the present. Two central questions will guide our thinking: how does the history of childhood challenge our assumptions about who is an historical actor?  And what role have young people played as agents of change? 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 Reading:

The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke, 2013)

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 available on Smart Site.


Three short papers, final exam, and participation 


History 169B – Mexican American History

Professor Oropeza

 Role of the Mexican and Mexican-American or Chicano in the economy, politics, religion, culture and society of the Southwestern United States since 1910.


History 171B – Civil War and Reconstruction

Professor Downs

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 investigates the development of civil and political rights during Reconstruction and the centrality of the West in shaping the coming and outcome of the war that continues in many ways to shape the nation.

History 174A – The Gilded Age and Progressive Era: United States, 1876-1917

Professor Materson

This class examines the construction of modern America from the end of Reconstruction in 1877 to U.S. entry into World War I in 1917.  Students explore the massive economic transformations that dominated this era, including industrialization, the expansion of big business, and the rise of industrial labor unions and labor conflict.  They consider the period’s unprecedented immigration, migration, and urbanization, as well as the reform movements that sought to address the dislocations and problems caused by these processes of modernization.  The class also analyzes American imperialism and the rise of the U.S. as a world power, the continued expansion of Anglo Americans westward, the removal of Native Americans from their lands, and battles over the citizenship rights of African Americans and women.

History 179 – Asian American history, 1850-Present

Professor Tsu


This course surveys the historical experience of people of Asian ancestry in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the   We will explore the experiences of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans within the broader context of immigration and race relations in U.S. history.  Major questions framing the course will be:  What are the arguments for a common Asian American experience?  What are the limits of a shared Asian American experience?  What does the history of Asian America tell us about America?  How have Asian Americans resisted and struggled to define their identity, livelihood, and a sense of “home” in America?


• Erika Lee, The Making of Asian America • Kiyo Sato, Kiyo’s Story: A Japanese-American Family’s Quest for the American Dream • Craig Scharlin and Lilia Villanueva, Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement • Kao Kalia Yang, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir • Readings posted on SmartSite

History 189 – California History

Professor Warren

California history from the pre-colonial period to the present including dispossession of California’s Indians, political economy of the Spanish and Mexican periods, Gold Rush effects, industrialization, Hollywood, water politics, World War II, Proposition 13, and the emergence of the Silicon Valley


History 190D – Middle Eastern History IV: Safavids Iran, 1300-1720

Professor Anooshahr

Middle Eastern history focusing on Safavid Empire (present-day Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, up to Georgia), beginning with the origins of the dynasty as a powerful religious family, to the establishment of the Empire, focusing on Social, Religious, Economic, and Political History. 


History 191B –High Imperial China

Professor Bossler

 Political disunion and the influx of Buddhism; reunification under the great dynasties of T’ang, Sung, and Ming with analysis of society, culture and thought.


History 191C – Late Imperial China

Professor Javers

In the sixteenth century, when Europeans first reached the far eastern shores of Eurasia, the Ming Empire was one of the most populous, urbanized, economically advanced, and culturally sophisticated societies in the world. By the early twentieth century, that status quo had been turned on its head.  European and American steamships now dominated the Pacific while China was in the throes of social and political upheaval. Using documents, fiction, art, and selected scholarly writings, we will try to understand the historical dynamics of this enormous change. Assignments include a map quiz, short response papers, in-class midterm, and final paper.


The goals of this class are to 1) acquire a broad understanding of China’s historical development; 2) read, interpret and understand documents from the period and secondary scholarship (the key work of an historian); 3) hone skills in writing and argumentation.


            Readings include:

                        * Shen Fu, Six Records of a Floating Life

                        * Jonathan D. Spence, Emperor of China

                        * Robert E. Hegel, True Crimes in Eighteenth-Century China


History 194A – Aristocratic and Feudal Japan

Professor Kim

This course will survey Japanese history from the proto-historic periods to the year 1600. Establishment of the first rudimentary social structure, importation and flourishing of Buddhism and its amalgamation with the native religious beliefs, centralization of political power, development of the modes of cultural expressions distinct from China, and ascendancy of the warrior class are some of the topics covered in this course. Prior background in Japanese history is not needed. Please understand that coming with certain preconceptions about Japanese culture through popular culture-- for instance, being familiar with “samurai” or “bushido” from watching a lot of anime or taking martial arts classes-- can cut both ways: they can help you overcome strangeness of the events or practices discussed in class but can also hinder you from grasping their true historical meanings. 

Readings:  William Wayne Farris, Japan to 1600: A Social and Economic History (Main textbook), Sei Shonagon, Pillow Book, Thomas Conlon, In Little Need of the Divine Intervention, and other academic writings.

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