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Yearly Schedule: 2016-2017

For a tentative list of courses for the 2016-2017 academic year, click here

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


Expanded Course Descriptions

Below is a listing of the courses offered by the History Department to undergraduates for Summer Sessions 2016. 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.



4C. History of Western Civilization

Annie Perez

This survey course covers the development of “Western Civilization” from the late 18th century to the present.  We will focus on themes of revolution, colonialism and imperialism, economics, and culture (art, literature, pop culture, religion, etc).  Students will use two required books (a textbook and a collection of primary sources) along with additional articles, chapters and excerpts the instructor will provide online. 

7C. History of Latin America, 1900-present 

Griselda Jarquin

Why is Brazil undergoing a political crisis today?  What does President Obama's recent visit to Cuba mean for the island's future? Why is Bernie Sanders attacked for supporting revolutionary governments in Cuba and Nicaragua? Why did 23 students disappear in Ayotzinapa, Mexico last year? Why were Central American children flooding the U.S. border recently? How have drug traffickers and gangs taken over Mexico and Central America? This course examines the historical roots of these questions by focusing on the history of Latin America from the Spanish-Cuban-American War to the present. In addition to providing a general sense of the major events and trends that marked this period, important themes to be covered include: revolution and counterrevolution; neo-colonialism; populism; 1968 student movements; dictatorships and state terror; immigration to the Untied States; neoliberalism; culture and art; the politics of memory; and the multi-faceted nature of U.S.-Latin American relations. Finally, we will apply our knowledge of historical processes to understand current political and social conflicts and aspirations in Latin American. This is the third course in a three-part survey devoted to the history of Latin America. Each course can be taken independently and no prior knowledge of Latin America is required. 

9A. History of East Asian Civilization

Elad Alyagon

Surveys traditional Chinese civilization and its modern transformation. Emphasis is on thought and religion, political and social life, art and literature. Perspectives on contemporary China are provided. 

17A. History of the United States

Mike Mortimer


111B. Ancient History - Greece

Professor Spyridakis

Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World, Political, Cultural and Intellectual Developments Emphasized


Rostovtzeff, Greece

J. Boardman, Griffin and Murray, The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World

Spyridakis and Nystrom, Ancient Greece: Documentary Perspectives


Grading: Midterm 25%; paper 25%; final 50% of course grade


174C. The United States Since World War II, 1945 to the Present 

Diana Johnson

This course will chart social, political, and foreign policy shifts following WWII and ending with the present-day. Topics will include: The Cold War at home and abroad, the Civil Rights Movement, counterculture, feminism, the New Left, Vietnam, the rise of President Reagan and the New Right, the historical roots of current immigration crises, and mass incarceration during the late twentieth century. Students will have the opportunity to critically and deeply analyze these themes and events.


4B. History of Western Civilization

John Zandler

10A. World History to 1350 

Professor Anooshahr

Historical examination of the changing relationship of human societies to one another and to their natural settings through the year 1350, with particular attention to long-term trends and to periodic crises that reshaped the links of culture and nature on a global scale.

17B. History of the United States

Tom O'Donnell

Reconstruction, Jim Crow, suffrage, imperialism, Ku Klux Klan, westward expansion, industrialization, Gilded Age, monopolies, strikes, anarchists, LABOR, immigration, Progressivism, eugenics, consumerism, SEXUALITY, Depression, New Deal, world war, internment, Cold War, black liberation, gay liberation, feminism, Berkeley, anti-war, Hippies, fast food, free speech, environmentalism, Vietnam, Nixon, New Right, Reagan, RACE, N.W.A., Rodney King, and Clinton. These are but a few of the people, ideas, and events we will encounter. Throughout the course we will examine the intersections of POWER with race, labor, and sexuality in U.S. history since the Civil War. 

Martha Gardner, The Qualities of a Citizen: Women, Immigration, and Citizenship, 1870-1965

Lorena Oropeza, ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era

There will also be primary sources posted on our SmartSite that we will read, interrogate, and discuss each week.

Interrogate: We will analyze the nation's history to tease out the complicated relationships between gender, sexuality, race, labor, capital, and power. Who had power, how was it exerted, and how was it justified? We will achieve this by critically reading primary sources with the guidance of secondary sources and lecture.

Articulate: In addition to in-class discussions and short writing exercises, students will identify and justify a selection of primary sources from the course that helps explain a recurring theme of U.S. history.

Reflect: What does the nation's history mean to you? What do you think is important to know? What aspects would you emphasize that have meaning to your life and future? 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Tom O'Donnell (

MTWR, 12:10 - 1:50pm | Wellman 230 | CRN: 71974

110. Themes in World History

Professor Sen


What is the Anthropocene? Is there actual scientific proof behind the term to suggest that we are actually living in a new geological age?

Recent attempts label the a new human epoch have erupted into a major debate between geologists and environmentalists around the major question:  have homo sapiens permanently changed the destiny of our planet?  The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) declares that we still in the Holocene that began after the last great Ice Age 11,700 years ago. Proponents of the Anthropocene however, say that the rise of human beings as the dominant species on earth is responsible for mass extinctions of plants and animals, polluted oceans and global warming. This transformation of the planet, they say, demands its own epoch.

In this introductory world history course we take up the simple, urgent and fundamental question: exactly when did human beings start to leave a permanent mark on the future of the planet? Is it as recent as the time of the advent of nuclear fusion that began to leave traces of radioactive material in soils around the globe? Does it go back to the industrial revolution of the early 1800s? Or can it be traced back to something that started a very long time ago and left an imprint much deeper down in the rock strata: the beginning of sustained agriculture?

This course looks at the history and the arguments that have been advanced for and against a human epoch that fuses geological time to world history. It also introduces students to the promise and problems of the idea of one Big History for our planet. 


168. History of Inter-American Relations


Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. The world's biggest single deposit of lithium. Lithium -ion batteries are critical to computers, smartphones, and to the growing industry of electric cars. (Source: Jo VH/ Flickr


This past March, President Obama made a historic trip to Cuba as the first US president to visit the island since the 1959 revolution. Just a few days later, Obama arrived in Buenos Aires where he met the recently elected Argentinian President, the center-right's Mauricio Macri (the first visit of a US president in Argentina in two decades.) With the administration of President Macri making swift market-oriented reforms and the “opening” of Cuba –the icon of the revolutionary left in Latin America– to US investment, March 2016 seems to mark a turning point in the history of inter-American relations.


How is this new stage in US-Latin American relations reshaping traditional power dynamics established since the second half of the 19th century? How are Latin America and US foreign policy in the region different now from the agitated years of military intervention and human rights violations during the Cold War? How will this new stage symbolized by the “Cuban opening” shape a new (or not that new) set of relations between these two regions in the 21st century?


Asia's growing investments in Latin America, the expansion of the Panama Canal, and the enlargement of middle classes will be key factors increasing the political and commercial interests of the United States in the region. On the other hand, extraction of natural resources, high demand for foreign investments, and greater social demands for democratization and environmental justice will continue to be fundamental components in Latin American countries in the next decades. Old and new challenges seem to converge in this new moment in the history of inter-American relations.


Combining political, cultural, and environmental history, this course will study military intervention, export economies, and environmental change as part of an entangled process of transnational transformation in the Americas initiated in the second half of the 19th century. This approach aims to problematize the role of international and local actors, and critically think about the current models of development in the region from a political, cultural, economic and environmental perspective. Through the analysis of primary historical sources and secondary writings by historians and other scholars, students will develop historical thinking skills to reflect critically on the present and future challenges of the Americas as an interconnected region in the 21st century.


Required Textbooks:


  •       Greg Grandin, Empire’s Workshop. Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (2007)
  •       Additional required readings will be available on Smart Site

176B. Cultural and Social History of the United States

Rebecca Egli

This class will cover social and cultural forces in the United States over the course of the twentieth century with an emphasis on social structure, work and leisure, socialization and the family, changes in cultural values, and social reform movements.

FALL 2016 

History 1:  Introduction to History

Stimulants, Depressants, and Modern Life

Professor Campbell

Most people’s lives are structured by a morning cup of coffee or tea, while the rush of a sugary snack keeps us going later in the day.  In moments of stress and exhaustion (or simply at the end of a working day), it’s not uncommon to hear ice cubes rattle in a cocktail glass, or a beer bottle open, with the refrain that it’s “5:00 somewhere.”


The way that we consume stimulants and depressants tells us a lot about how we live in the modern world, and how we have gotten to be where we are.  The way that these things are produced and distributed adds further complexity to the story.


So this class uses alcohol, coffee, and sugar (along with stronger substances) to introduce students to history as a method of inquiry.  In lectures, students will learn about how consumption patterns shaped modern human history – for example, the close relationship between sugar and the Industrial Revolution, or between vodka and the rise of Soviet power.  In parallel with that, they will learn different historical methodologies.  The methods of analysis they will learn are useful both in later undergraduate history classes and in the outside world.


Discussion sections will focus especially on developing the skills necessary for success as a history major or in other liberal arts disciplines:  analyzing new information, understanding historical context, using the University’s extensive research tools, comparing arguments, and formulating new arguments, among others.


The class is especially recommended for incoming students (first-year or transfer).  No prior knowledge of history is assumed.


Grading will be based on several short (500 words) response papers, participation in discussion sections, and a final exam.

History 4A: Western Civilization

Professor McKee

How the West Was Never One: A survey of the myriad cultures and religions that make up the West. The lectures and readings will address the political and social history of the peoples of Europe, beginning with the Roman Republic and ending at the end of the Middle Ages. How "Europe" as a geopolitical concept and "European" as a political and cultural term emerged over the past two millennia are the chief subjects of the course.


  • Kidner, Frank et al. Making Europe: People, Politics, and Culture, vol 1.
  • Harris, Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome.
  • Cicero, Political Speeches.
  • Chronicles of the First Crusade.
  • Cippico, The Deeds of Commander Pietro Mocenigo.


Grading: TBA


History 4C - Western Civilization, 1750-Present

Professor Zientek

 Development of Western Civilization from the Eighteenth Century to the present.

History 7A – History of Latin America to 1700

Professor Resendez 

This is an introductory course to the history of Spanish and Portuguese America from the late pre-Columbian period through the initial phase and consolidation of a colonial regime (circa 1700). The lectures, readings, and discussion sections offer a broad overview of the indigenous roots and realities of the hemisphere, the Spanish and Portuguese conquests of this region, and the emergence of colonial regimes in the 16th and 17th centuries. It will explore the contrasting experiences of Indians, Africans, and Europeans and their mixed descendants in this evolving colonial world. Particular attention is devoted to the disruptions and continuities in the major indigenous civilizations of the continent, colonialism, racial mixture and race relations, gender, labor systems, identity, religion and spirituality, and environmental transformation. This is the beginning of a three-course sequence devoted to the history of Latin America. Each course can be taken independently.          


The readings are a mixture of scholarly and popular histories:

Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Inga Clendinnen Ambivalent Conquests

J. R. McNeill, Mosquito Empires

Acemoglu and Robinson, Why Nations Fail

Readings on Smartsite


Your final grade will be determined by:

1) Midterm Exam (20%)

2) Final Exam (20%)

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

4) Two In-class essays (40%)

History 9A: History of East Asian Civilization

Professor Bossler

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. 

Grading: The course meets thrice weekly, twice a week for 80 minutes of lecture and once a week for a 50-minute discussion section.  The discussion is an extremely important aspect of the course. Written assignments include a map exercise, weekly reading questions, essays, surprise quizzes, a midterm and a final.



·         Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China

·         Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, A Sourcebook

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

Professor Dickinson

This course will treat the history of the world since 1800.  The focus of the course will be on the interlocking global processes of demographic, technological, economic, social, and political change that have transformed the world in the past two centuries.  We will focus on global processes, rather than particular national or regional histories.  The first weeks of the course will focus on the structure of the emergent world economy in the nineteenth century, and some of its implications for the development of social structures and cultural change globally.  The middle weeks of the course will focus on the violent re/negotiation of the world order in the imperialist and world wars between 1870 and 1945.  The last weeks of the course will focus on the explosive spread of demographic and economic change, and its implications for politics, culture, and the planetary biosphere, since 1945.  Readings will include both scholarly works on particular aspects of global history and first-person accounts, contemporary commentary, political texts, and some fiction reflective of major trends or events.


In addition to familiarizing ourselves with the history of Europe in this period, ideally we will be cultivating a number of practical and scholarly skills in this course.  These include the critical reading and appreciation of texts; the capacity for focused and creative collaborative inquiry; the ability to formulate fruitful questions (both empirical and synthetic/interpretive) and to pursue answers to them in an effective and creative manner; the capacity for forceful, clear written and oral expression; and the ability to pursue inquiry in sustained, lively, and open discussion.


Readings will include a textbook, scholarly articles, excerpts from letters, memoirs, eyewitness accounts, Congressional testimony, works of political philosophy, and policy documents.


Students will write two short (5 to 6-page) essays (50 percent of grade), take two tests (30 percent), and complete five exercises (20 percent).


History 17A - History of the United States

Professor Smolenski

The experience of the American people from the Colonial Era to the Civil War.

History 17B – History of the United States
Professor Olmsted 
This course will cover the social, political, and foreign policy history of the United States since the end of the Civil War.  We will discuss Reconstruction, westward expansion, immigration and industrialization, the progressive era, World War I, modernization, the New Deal, the vast changes wrought by U.S. participation in World War II, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, social protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, Watergate, the decline of trust in government, the rise of modern conservatism, the Clinton administration, and America in our time.
·         Sinclair, The Jungle
·         Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi 
·         Rauchway, A Very Short Introduction to the Great Depression and the New Deal
·         Foner, Give Me Liberty Vol. 2
Grading: Midterm, 20%, First paper, 20%, Second paper, 20%, Final, 30%, Section, 10%

History 72B

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.

Tentative Reading List:





History 80: The History of the United States in the Middle East

Professors Oropeza and Tezcan

After September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush delivered an address to the American people asking, “Why do they hate us?”  The question -- and his answer -- resonated with a popular “Clash of Civilizations” thesis that argues that conflict between Islam and the West is inevitable for the long-term.  Aiming for a deeper understanding of the stories that fill the headlines, this course interrogates that proposition by looking at the long history of United States involvement in the Middle East, from the Barbary pirates to recent beheadings, from missionaries to missiles, from Cold War concerns to moments of cultural exchange. Two-units.


Readings: Khalidi. Resurrecting Empire

History 101 - Introduction to Historical Thought

Professor Saler

Study of the history of historical thought and writing, analysis of critical and speculative philosophies of history and evaluation of modes of organization, interpretation, and style in historical writing.

History 102A: Ancient History

Professor Spyridakis 

Aspects of Greek history in Classical and Hellenistic Times.

Readings: TBA

Grading: TBA

History 102D: Early Modern Europe

Professor Stuart

History 102M-1: US History

Professor Oropeza

At the Crossroads: 20th Century Latina/o History

In February 2016, ­the New York Times started publishing Spanish-language articles. In 2014, Latinos surpassed the number of by "non-Hispanic whites" in California. Hispanics became the largest minority group in the United States in 2000. Throughout the 1990s, José was the most popular boy's name in Texas. Clearly, the United States has changed and will continue to change as a result of recent migrations from Latin America. This course seeks to explore the historical roots of these phenomena. 

Devoted to the proposition that Latina/o history stands at the intersection of both U.S. history and Latin American history, this course can count as either a Latin American or an American history seminar. Focused on the twentieth-century, it will explore such key themes such as race, empire, and migration via works that examine the experiences of people who trace their familial origins to Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the nations of Central America. It will also spend a fair amount of time examining how the United States is coming to terms with this demographic shift via the media and the market in today's digital age (i.e. we get to watch movies). Finally, it will examine such hot-button issues as  immigration, border security, education, and language from a historical perspective.

History 102M-2: The Roosevelt Years, 1933-1945

Professor Rauchway

The US under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt, from the New Deal through the Second World War.


  • Badger, First Hundred Days
  • Brinkley, Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Costigliola, Lost Alliances
  • Hitchcock, Bitter Road to Freedom
  • Hofstadter, American Political Tradition
  • Katznelson, Fear Itself
  • Rauchway, Great Depression and the New Deal 
  • Robinson, By Order of the President
  • Sitkoff, A New Deal for Blacks



Professor Warren

In an unconventional approach, this class will explore how American history can be understood through stories of human-animal interactions. Humans are animals, of course, but we generally hold them in a special category.  People and animals evolved alongside one another, and in many cases they remade one another. European empires might not have happened without horses and cattle, while their limits were set, in part, by mosquito-borne diseases; the market for whales transformed the American economy and eventually turned whales themselves into objects of international diplomacy. Americans slaughtered wolves to the point of extinction and then, in recent years, changed their ideas of the animals and began restoring them.  Why? How have people reshaped animal ecology and animal biology?  How have animals, in turn, remade human economy and society? Did you know that in the nineteenth century some cities had almost as many animals as people? Where did all those animals go? We shall examine animal histories in England and India as comparisons for the U.S. Special emphasis on horses, salmon, whales, mosquitoes, elephants, and wolves. Term paper.

History 105: Teaching History

The Staff

History 109B – Environmental Change, Disease and Public Health

Professor Davis

This course analyzes environmental change at multiple scales and how these changes have influenced public health over time.  It takes as a starting point that the “environment” includes not only deserts, mountains, plains and rivers, but also slaughter houses, hospitals and our own and other animal bodies.  The changes that have taken places in these varied environments have included the obvious like deforestation and the damming of rivers and the not so obvious like creating antibiotic resistance, and creating the conditions for super contamination of large quantities of food with pathogenic organisms such as E. coli 0157:H7, Listeria, and salmonella.  Furthermore, these transformations may be changing our epigenomes with what we eat, drink and breathe in ways that induce illness.  All of these changes have had impacts on human health.  Many of these environmental changes have been driven by human action over the last several millennia.  The pace and scope of such changes have become quicker and more pervasive during our era of “globalization.”  It is critical to understand these changes in order to build a more sustainable future for people and the planet.


**Fulfills the GE Science & Engineering and Social Sciences requirement.



•    Desowitz. New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers: Tales of Parasites and People. 

•    Schlosser. Fast Food Nation. 

•    Kidder. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer.  

•    Patel. Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. 

Grading: TBA

History 111A: Ancient History 

The Staff

History of ancient empires of the Near East and of their historical legacy to the Western world. 

History 116: 200 Years of “Saving” Africa

Professor Decker

Required Books

Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions

Peter J. Bloom, Stephan F. Miescher, and Takyiwaa Manuh, Modernization as Spectacle in Africa

Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa

Additional readings available on SmartSite, as indicated on the schedule


Recommended Books

Frederick Cooper, Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present

Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World


Grading: TBA


History 120 – History of World War II 

Professors Rauchway and Kelman                

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.


  • Anonymous, A Woman in Berlin
  • Fraser, George MacDonald, Quartered Safe Out Here
  • Levi, Primo, Survival in Auschwitz
  • Terkel, Studs, "The Good War"

History 138C – The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917- Present

Professor Campbell

This course traces the emergence of the Soviet Union as a socialist system, its rise to global prominence, and its eventual decline and collapse.  We will pay particular attention to the multi-ethnic nature of the Soviet state – taking seriously the changing relationship of the union as a whole with its component republics.


Other key topics will include the tension between the ideals and outcomes of the October Revolution; the relationship between Leninism and Stalinism; the extent to which the USSR may be described as a “totalitarian” state; and the legacy of the Soviet era in both the Russian Federation and other post-Soviet states.



•             Riasanovsky and Steinberg, A History of Russia, 8th ed.

•             Suny, The Structure of Soviet History

•             Kotkin, Armageddon Averted

•             Mochulsky, Gulag Boss:  A Soviet Memoir

•             Aitmatov, The Day Lasts More Than A Hundred Years

•             Additional primary and secondary source readings available on



Grading/Assignments:  essay-based midterm and final exams; three response papers (2-3 pp.); map quiz; primary source-based final research paper (10pp.)


History 146A: Europe in the 20th century

The Staff

Survey of the history of Europe from 1919 to 1939.

History 147B: European Intellectual History, 1870-1920

Professor Saler

Cultural and intellectual watershed of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Emergence of modern art and literature; psychoanalysis and the new social sciences. Focus on the work of Baudelaire, Wagner, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber and Kafka.

History 166B – History of Mexico Since 1848

Professor Resendez

The purpose of this course is to examine the political, social, and cultural history of Mexico paying particular attention to the emergence of authoritarian regimes in the late-19th and 20th centuries and the ways in which ordinary men and women have endured, profited from, and challenged these systems of domination. Using journalistic accounts, fiction, and scholarly works we will probe into the lives of Mexico’s diverse population and try to explain why significant change had to be brought about by popular and mostly rural upheavals like the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17. In these events we will be especially mindful of such factors as ethnicity, class, and gender, and we will explore the intricate connections between Mexico and the United States. This is the second part of a two-quarter sequence devoted to the history and culture of Mexico. Although the two quarters cover consecutive historical periods, either may be taken independently.


The readings are a mixture of journalistic accounts, fiction, and scholarly works. They are:

  • Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power
  • John Reed, Insurgent Mexico
  • Carlos Fuentes, The Death of Artemio Cruz
  • Alfredo Corchado, Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey through a Country’s Descent into Darkness
  • Readings on Smartsite



Your final grade will be determined by:

1) A midterm at the beginning of the fifth week (35%)

2) A final exam on exam week (35%). The exams will consist of both short I.D. and essay questions, and the final will be cumulative, that is, it will test knowledge acquired during the entire quarter.

3) An assignment (20%). I will give more details in class.

4) Attendance and doing the required reading and participating in class (10%). We will discuss the readings in class.


History 170A: Colonial America

Professor Smolenski

Colonial society from 1607 to the American Revolution, with emphasis on European expansion, political, social and economic foundations, colonial thought and culture, and imperial rivalry. 

History 172: American Environmental History

Professor Warren

How have connections between people and nature changed over time? In this course, we re-visit the entire sweep of American history, from Indian domestication of corn and  colonial epidemics  to the making of the atomic bomb and global climate change. This course will help us to answer a variety of big questions about humans,  nature,  and how they have shaped history. How does American history look different when we consider germs, mosquitoes, pigs, plants, and coal as key actors in a story also about people?  How did Americans go from fearing wilderness to loving it?  How did the pursuit of leisure change the landscapes they appreciated, and with what consequences?  (When did hiking become "fun"?)   What are the roots of our current industrial food crisis, and how is it connected to the invention of the refrigerator and the automobile, and hamburgers and fish sticks? When did the environmental justice movement begin?   How did fears  of overpopulation lead to the birth control pill - - and with what consequences for ideas of sex and gender? Who invented Earth Day and the EPA? Who discovered global warming, and what does it have to do with the inundation of New Orleans and parts of New York during recent hurricanes?  How did decisions about agriculture and urban growth contribute to the drought we are experiencing today?  Join us to learn the answers to these and similar questions as we see American history in a new light. 


Although the course description in the catalog indicates a prerequisite, there is NO PREREQUISITE for this course.  Midterm, final, short papers. 

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.

Tentative Reading List

·       Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York

·       Evelyn Nakano Glenn: Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor

·       Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917

History 174D – Selected Themes in 20th Century American History: Conspiracy Theories in the United States 

Professor Olmsted

Since the 1970s, some Americans have come to believe that no crime is too monstrous for the evildoers of the secret government.  They faked the moon landing.  They killed the president.  In their zeal to cover up their crimes, they killed witnesses, manufactured evidence, and sneaked into secure offices to snatch incriminating documents from the files.
This explosion of conspiracy theories since the 1970s is part of a long tradition of the fear of conspiracies in America.  In this course, we will examine the evolution of conspiracy theories in the United States since the late nineteenth century.  We will look at various interpretations of conspiracy theories by political scientists, historians, sociologists, and cultural theorists, and we will analyze how these theories have changed over time.

            • Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics

            • Kathryn Olmsted, Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11

            • Various articles

Grading: TBA

History 183A: The Frontier Experience: Trans-Mississippi West

Professor St. John

The fur trade, western exploration and transportation, the Oregon Country, the Greater Southwest and the Mexican War, the Mormons, mining discovery, and the West during the Civil War.

History 189: California History

Professor Tsu

This course provides a comprehensive overview of California history from the pre-Columbian period to the present, structured around the twin themes of how diverse individuals, groups, empires, and nations have struggled to control and define the geographic space called California, and the myths and realities that have shaped the lives of Californians.  Topics include: experiences of California Indians, the political economy of the Spanish and Mexican period, effects of the Gold Rush, industrialization, race relations, immigration, agricultural development, progressive-era politics and reform, environmental battles, urbanization and suburban sprawl, and the creation of a distinctive regional culture in the country’s most diverse and populous state today.



             • Steinbeck. Harvest Gypsies

             • De la Perouse. Life in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786

             • Smith. Twilight: Los Angeles 1992

            • Rice. The Elusive Eden: A New History of California

 Grading: Midterm and final exams; term paper; reading responses

History 190B: Middle Eastern History II: The Age of the Crusades

Professor Anooshahr

Middle Eastern history during the age of the Crusades and Mongol invasions. The idea of holy war, the Crusades, the Mongols as the bearers of Chinese arts, nomads and sedentary life, feudalism, mysticism, slavery, women in the medieval Middle East.

History 191J: Sex and Society in Modern Chinese History

Professor Bossler

This course looks at changing gender relations across China’s “long 20th century.” We begin by examining lives and relationships of men and women in the late 19th century, before the fall of the Qing dynasty. We then investigate the ways that external and indigenous forces have changed (or not) gender relationships during the rapid and often violent transitions of the twentieth century, from the Republican period (1911-1949) to the People’s Republic, from the Nanjing Decade (1927-37) to Maoist period (1950-1976) and the period of economic reform (1976-present day). Why did Chinese politicians see the reform of family and gender relations as central to their larger political goals? What were the “new” gender relations supposed to be?  How were the reforms carried out, and what were their effects, intended and unintended? Assignments will include regular written responses to readings; quizzes; and analytical essays.



Hershatter, The Gender of Memory

Pruitt, Daughter of Han

Chen Huiqin, Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir

History 193D: History of Modern Iran, From 1850 to Present

The Staff

 Modern Iran from the mid 19th century to the present. Themes include the legacy of imperialism, cultural renaissance, the World Wars, nationalism, modernization, Islamic revival, gender, revolutionary movements, politics of oil and war. 

History 196A: Medieval India

Professor Anooshahr

 Survey of history of India in the millennium preceding arrival of British in the eighteenth century, focusing on interaction of the civilizations of Hinduism and Islam and on the changing nature of the state.

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