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Yearly Schedule: 2014-2015

For a tentative list of courses for the 2014-2015 academic year click here.

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


Winter Quarter 2015

Below is a listing of the courses offered by the History Department to undergraduates for Fall Quarter 2014. 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.

History 4B – History of Western Civilization
Professor Stuart

We study European history from the late Middle Ages to the French Revolution. We begin with the “Black Death,” an outbreak of the bubonic plague that killed about one third of the European populace within three years. The plague inspired collective religious rites, pogroms against Jews and lepers who were blamed for the disease, as well as new art forms such as the “dance of death.” The mass mortality caused an acute labor shortage, inaugurating what has been called “the golden age of the wage earner,” and a new era of economic growth during the early Renaissance.  We’ll spend some time in Renaissance Florence, the place to be in Europe, ca. 1400-1450. We study the information revolution brought about by the new technology of the printing press. Martin Luther, the religious reformer, described the printing press as a gift from God.  When Martin Luther sparked the Protestant Reformation by protesting what he saw as abuses by the Medieval Catholic Church, he brought about a religious revolution that he could not control, leading to social upheavals and the breakup of Christendom and the development of distinct religious cultures in Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist Europe.  The early modern centuries are a time of paradox. At the same time that scientists were making cutting-edge discoveries in astronomy, anatomy and physics (in a movement commonly known as the “scientific revolution”);, merchant capitalists, explorers and monarchs were staking out new colonial and commercial empires, enslaving indigenous peoples and developing the slave trade;,  learned jurists trained in Roman law were putting old women on trial as witches and burning them at the stake by the thousands.  By the later seventeenth century, after a century of religious war, a new idea emerged: the idea of religious toleration. We’ll study how this and other radical ideas developed in the eighteenth century, the era of the Enlightenment, and contributed to the emergence of the modern world.


  • Voltaire. Candide
  • Brucker. Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence
  • Brown. Immodest Acts
  • Wunderli. Peasant Fires
  • Machiavelli. The Prince
  • McKay. A History of Western Society: From Renaissance to 1815

Grading: TBA


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

Professor Walker, Charles

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, Shaky Colonialism
  • Laurent Dubois, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History -
  • Marie Arana, Bolivar
  • Sandra L. Graham, House and Street 

Grading: Participation, mid-term and final exams, 2 papers


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.


  • Albert M. Craig. Heritage of Japanese Civilization.Prentice Hall. (Main textbook)
  • Other textbooks are available through UC Davis bookstore.

A course sourcebook can be purchased through Davis Copy Store. 

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 

Grading: TBA


History 11 – History of the Jewish People from Biblical Times

Professor Miller

The histories and cultures of Jews in Western and non-Western settings, from 1700 to the present.  Topics include: Jewish diasporas, tyranny and enlightenment, the roots of anti-Semitism, Jewish nationalism, representations of the Holocaust, post-World War II reconstruction, changing ideas of the body, Jews in America, Jewish-Muslim relations, and contemporary visions of Jewish history.

Readings: TBA

Grading: TBA


History 12 – Food and History

Professors Mckee/Resendez

This course will survey how humans have fed themselves from the time they were hunter gatherers to the present and study how new feeding patterns have transformed their 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 course will examine 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
  • 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 In-class essays (40%)


History 15 – Introduction to African History

Professor Decker

With 55 countries, thousands of languages, and a geographic area that surpasses the United States, China, and Europe combined, the defining characteristic of Africa is its diversity. History 15 introduces students to key shifts in African history, including case studies in pre-colonial migrations and kingdoms, the spread of world religions, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, nationalism, development interventions, and human rights campaigns. Students will examine the continent’s diverse past through oral and written primary sources, scholarly debates, music, film, art, and other sources.


D.T. Niane, ed., Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

Getz and Clarke, Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History

Gilbert & Reynolds, Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present

Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, A Grain of Wheat

Additional course readings available online


History 17A – History of the United States

Professor Hartigan-O’Connor

This course investigates the history of North America and the United States through the Civil War era.  It will focus on the mixing of peoples, the development of institutions, and the changing alliances and borders that shaped American society.  Throughout, emphasis will be on the lives of ordinary Americans and how they experienced the upheavals of migration, enslavement and conquest, the American Revolution, the rise of capitalism, the communications revolution, and the Civil War.  We will examine the history of what became the United States through a world historical lens, linking the local and the global, as well as making comparisons across regions to better understand the development of American societies.  By 1865, the United States was a unique nation of divergent politics and peoples.  It was also a product of centuries of interactions with global economies, competitive empires, and ongoing collisions among Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans.


  • Elizabeth Cobbs-Hoffman, Major Problems in American History, Vol. 1
  • Anne Hyde, Empires, Nations, and Families
  • Randy Sparks, The Two Princes of Calabar
  • John Faragher, Out of Many, Vol. 1 Brief Edition  (recommended)
  • There will also be a few readings on SmartSite.

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


History 17B – History of the United States, Civil War to the Present

Professor Oropeza

This course explores the making of the United States since the Civil War with special emphasis upon its expansion abroad and racial matters at home. Beginning with Reconstruction, the course traces the evolution of American industrial power in the latter-half of the nineteenth century, the challenges those economic changes posed at home, and the consequent rise of the country's foreign policy interests which often culminated in foreign interventions. The course continues its twin focus upon foreign relations and domestic diversity by looking at WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and the Vietnam conflict in tandem with such reform efforts as Progressivism, the New Deal, and the social protest movements of the 1960s. A unifying theme of the course is to examine the theme of freedom.

Required Reading

  • Eric Foner  Give Me Liberty! Volume II: From 1865, Seagull, 4th ed.
  • Eric Foner, Voices of Freedom, 4th ed.
  • Chris Myers Asch, Senator and the Sharecropper
  • Robert K. Brigham, The United States and Iraq Since 1990: A Brief History with Documents 

Grading:           TBA


History 72A – Women and Gender in America, to 1865

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.


 History 101 – Introduction to Historical Thought and Writing

Professor Stolzenberg

What is history? More specifically: what is historical knowledge, how do historians make it, and how has the content and practice of historical scholarship changed over time? In this seminar we explore these questions by investigating the history of the American historical profession since the 1950s. The class is organized as a laboratory of historical research. Collectively students will formulate, research, and produce a case study of the history of the UC Davis History Department that illuminates broader intellectual, social and cultural developments.


  • Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft
  • Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
  • Nancy Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing History



History 102H – Sex and Politics: Family Values and State Policies in Twentieth Century China

Professor Bossler

In the early 20th century Chinese reformers denounced the “traditional Chinese family” as a backward institution that oppressed women and obstructs the processes of Chinese modernization. Chinese governments since that time regarded policies about women and the family as central to their governing mission. In this course we will examine the changing Chinese family and its relationship to the Chinese state over the course of the twentieth century. We will begin by briefly examining the “traditional” family itself: to what extent were the norms that were supposed to guide Chinese family life actually upheld in practice?  We will then trace various state efforts to transform family relations, first in the Republican period (1911-1949) and then under the People’s Republic (which encompasses both the Maoist period (1950-1976) and the period of economic reform (1976-present day). Why did Chinese politicians see family reform as central to their larger political goals? What were the “new” family relations supposed to be?  How were the reforms carried out, and what were their effects, intended and unintended? How did factors outside of state policy--especially the actions of millions of Chinese men and women --affect the family system?


The seminar will be taught on the Colloquium Model, with emphasis placed on reading and discussion of a wide range of materials, primary as well as secondary sources.  Readings average about 160 pages per week, although there can be considerable variation. Grading is based on class participation, weekly short written assignments, class presentations, and a final essay.



  • Fenby, The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present (background text)
  • Brownell, Chinese masculinities, Chinese Femininities
  • Wolf, Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan
  • Yan Yunxiang, Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999.


Other primary and secondary source selections in course reader


History 102M-1 – United States since 1896 seminar

Professor Materson

Why do many young American women favor the goals of feminism but reject the label “feminist”?  Students in this course will consider this and other contemporary questions about feminism by placing the movement within its historical context.  Readings cover the origins of the modern women’s liberation movement in the civil rights and student movements, the multiple forms of feminism that developed in subsequent decades, conflicts among feminists, and the recent cultural and political backlash against feminism.

Required Texts:

  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique.
  • Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left.
  • Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad:  Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975.
  • Laura Kaplan, The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.
  • Benita Roth, Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave.
  • A Pocket Guide to Writing in History

Course Requirements: TBA


History 102M-2 – United States since 1896 seminar

Professor Warren



History 102O – Sexual Rites/Rights in Africa

Professor Decker

Since the early twentieth century, debates about indigenous customs related to puberty, sex, and marriage in Africa have intersected with emerging global discourses on the protection of women, children, and sexual minorities. History 102O will explore points of conflict and reconciliation between indigenous rites and human rights in colonial and post-colonial Africa. Course themes include girls’ and boys’ initiation, reproductive rights, child and forced marriage, female circumcision, sex work, virginity testing, and GLBT activism.


Audrey Richards, Chisungu: A Girl’s Initiation Ceremony among the Bemba of Zambia

Lynn Thomas, Politics of the Womb: Women, Reproduction, and the State in Kenya

Emmanuel Babatunde, Women’s Rights versus Women’s Rites: A Study of Circumcision Among the Ketu Yoruba of South Western Nigeria

Graeme Reid, How to be a Real Gay: Gay Identities in Small-town South Africa

Additional course readings available online

 102O F14

History 102X – Comparative History Seminar: Antisemitism and Islamophobia: The Anatomy of Twin Hatreds

Professor Miller

Two historical phobias that were initially disassociated but have in recent years become inextricably intertwined--hatred of Jews and hatred of Muslims-- are the topic of this course. Both have deep historical roots in the Western psyche, and both have evolved over time, reflecting cultural trends and political crises in the wider world. Our focus is on the contemporary period, that is, the mid-twentieth century to the present day, with an emphasis on those writings--- popular and highbrow-- that capture the tenor of the mounting crescendo of antipathy toward Jews and Muslims that has accompanied unending war in the Middle East. We shall expose the parallel structures in each phobia, their differences, their genesis and connection to world political events, their evolving socio-historical meaning, efforts to contain them through legislation and education, their penetration deep into the American consciousness via the media, and the costs and dangers that their unchecked spread could pose to the underpinnings of our democracy.                

(Note: This seminar is limited to 15, combining both graduate and undergraduate students)


History 105 – Teaching History

The Staff

Teaching of American and world history at the K-12 level. Emphasis on introducing college students to the multiple ways in which history is taught, and on understanding how history education is determined. 


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 the conditions for super contamination of large quantities of food with pathogenic organisms such as E. coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella.  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.”  This course aims to make clear many of the complex connections between political economy, environmental change and public health around the world throughout history. **Fulfills the GE Science & Engineering and Social Sciences requirement.


•    Desowitz. New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers

•    Schlosser. Fast Food Nation

•    Kidder. Mountains Beyond Mountains

•    Davis. The Monster at our Door   OR  Nash. Inescapable Ecologies

Grading: TBA


History 111B – Ancient 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


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 132 – Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe

Professor Stuart

In the sixteenth century, you would be executed for throwing dung at a statue of the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, this might be considered offensive, but you would no longer face the death penalty for the capital crime of “blasphemy.” In other words, the definition of crime and the classification of criminals changes over time. In this class we explore when, how, and why this happened from the fourteenth through the eighteenth centuries. We will contrast "real" crimes such as vagrancy, theft  and arson with imaginary, invented crimes such as Jewish ritual murder and witchcraft. One segment of the course covers prostitution, infanticide and witchcraft as specifically female crimes.  We explore the relationship between long-term changes in the incidence and prosecution of particular crimes and to changes in economy, social structure, government, religion and culture.  We will discuss changes in the nature and purposes of punishment in the early modern period, as public rituals of execution and other bloody punishments to the body were replaced by the penalty of imprisonment in the eighteenth century.



  •  Perry. Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville
  • Fillingham. Foucault for Beginners
  • Huppert. After the Black Death
  •  Goffman. Stigma: Notes on the Management of a Spoiled Identity
  • Robisheaux. The Last Witch of Langenburg
  • Hsia. Trent 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial


Grading: TBA 

History 142A – History of the Holocaust

Professor Biale

In a century of genocides, the Holocaust of the European Jews remains perhaps the most systematic attempt to destroy a whole people.  In this course, we will attempt to understand how one nation committed genocide against another.  The course will consider the history of the Holocaust against the background of Jewish and German history in modern times   We will also take up the question of the uniqueness of the Holocaust and comparisons with other instances of mass death, both by the Nazis (against the disabled and mentally retarded, the Sinti/Roma, homosexuals, Poles and Russian prisoners of war) and by others in the twentieth century.  Students should be aware that this is an emotionally, as well as intellectually challenging subject and they should treat it with the seriousness it deserves. 



  • Doris Bergen, War and Genocide
  • David Sierakowiak. The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak.
  • Sebastian Haffner. Defying Hitler.
  • Saul Friedlander, Nazi Germany and the Jews Vol. 1
  • Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz


GRADING:           TBA


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.  Focusing on a few richly detailed primary sources will help us to understand the anxieties and possibilities such rapid changes entailed for ordinary people.

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 a midterm, a final, and two 6-7 page papers, one each on a primary and secondary source.



  • David Fromkin, Europe’s Last Summer
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton
  • P. M. Jones, The French Revolution, 1787-1804 (2nd ed.)
  • Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard
  • Mark Traugott, Armies of the Poor
  • Geoffrey Wawro, Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1814
  • Additional primary and secondary sources on SmartSite



History 165 – Latin American Social Revolutions

The Staff

Major social upheavals since 1900 in selected Latin American nations; similarities and differences in cause, course, and consequence. 


History 168 – History of Inter-American Relations

Professor Walker, Charles

This course examines the relations between the United States and Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as current issues.  We will pay particular attention to the reasons why these relations have been characterized by misunderstanding, mistrust, and tension.  While focusing on a few crucial moments such as the Guatemalan and Cuban Revolutions, we will also look at how the United States media has depicted Latin America and its people as well as the contemporary problems in U.S.-Latin American relations, particularly the border or la frontera.



  • Mark Danner. The Massacre at El Mozote.
  • Louis Pérez, ed.  Impressions of Cuba in the Nineteenth Century.
  • Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire
  • Stephen Kinzer. Overthrow
  • PLUS a reader (on-line)

 Grading: Students will be asked to write two take home papers of 3 pages as well as one 5-7 page paper. There will also be two map quizzes, mid-term, and final.


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. 

NO PREREQUISITE; midterm, final, short papers. 


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

The Staff

U.S. history and the construction of modern America from the end of Reconstruction to U.S. entry into World War I. Includes Southern redemption, Western incorporation, electoral corruption, labor movements, Populism, Progressivism, women’s suffrage, U.S. imperial expansion, and immigration restriction. Offered in alternate years. 


History 176B – Cultural and Social History of the United States

The Staff

Study of social and cultural forces in American society in the twentieth century with emphasis on social structure, work and leisure, socialization and the family, social reform movements and changes in cultural values.


History 184 – History of Sexuality in the US

Professor Lisa Materson

Over the past two decades, historians have challenged the common belief that sexuality is an unchanging, biological reality. Students in this course will consider how political, social, economic, and cultural processes have shaped the meaning and place of sexuality in America from the colonial era to the present.  We begin by examining the transition of the family-centered, reproductive system in colonial America to the idealized romantic marriage of the nineteenth century.  We then explore how twentieth-century Americans came to view sexuality as a central source of personal identity.  Readings analyze how various sectors of American society--including immigrants and minorities, rural and urban populations, and the working, middle, and elite classes--experienced these transitions differently.  Themes emphasized include interpretations of pro-creative sex and recreational sex, the history of birth control, the constructions of heterosexuality and homosexuality, the commercialization and regulation of sexuality, and role of sexuality in the perpetuation of racial, gender and class hierarchies in America.


  • Hurtado, Intimate Frontiers: Sex, Gender, and Culture in Old California
  • Brown, The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s
  • Bailey, Sex in the Heartland                                                                             

Grading: TBA


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 191G – Special Topics in Chinese History: Courtesans, Concubines, and Faithful Wives: Sex, Gender, and Society in Imperial China

Professor Bossler

This course examines the changing nature of gender relations across China’s imperial period, from roughly 200 BCE to the early twentieth century. In contrast to images of imperial China that imagine a static, unchanging gender regime in which women were universally devalued and miserable, we will see how the gender system evolved over time, affected by and also affecting other social and cultural phenomena.

The course follows a roughly chronological trajectory, with each section of the course devoted to a particular theme or set of historical issues that was particularly salient in that period. From early cosmological ideas about yin and yang, to the policies of the Qing dynasty in the late 19th century, we will see how gender relations intersected with philosophical ideals, with political agendas, with religious values, and with economic developments. We will examine the kinds of choices that were available to men and women at various points in time, and explore the ways that individuals, both male and female, navigated those choices to construct meaningful lives.

Grading will be based on class participation, weekly reading and short writing assignments; two midterm examinations; and a final essay or project.


  • Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China (background text)
  • Wang, Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture: Writings from the Pre-Qin Period through the Song Dynasty
  • Mann, ed. Under Confucian Eyes

Other primary and secondary source selections in course reader


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 196B – History of Modern India

Professor Sen

This is a survey of cultural, social, economic, and political history of South Asia from the arrival of the British in the eighteenth century to the Partition of 1947 and the formation of the new independent nation-states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the twentieth century.


  • Metcalf, Thomas & Barbara. A Concise History of India.
  • Schmidt, Karl J. An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History.
  • Kumar, Radha. A History of Doing.
  • Chandra, Bipan. India’s Struggle for Independence.

Grading: 40% for 2 essays, 40% for final exam, 20% for class participation

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