Expanded Course Descriptions Winter 2022

The Department of History scheduled these undergraduate courses for WINTER QUARTER 2022. This list and its' descriptions are subject to change, so please check back often.

picture of history course

Registration appointment times available on Schedule Builder and myucdavis.


Lower Division


HIS 4B: History of Western Civilization (Europe) - Professor Stuart

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). History of western civilization from the Renaissance to the 18th century. GE credit: AHSSVLWCWE. Effective: 2015 Winter Quarter

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 


 HIS 6: Introduction to the Middle East (Middle East) - Professor Anooshahr

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Survey of the major social, economic, political and cultural transformations in the Middle East from the rise of Islam (c.600A.D.) to the present, emphasizing themes in religion and culture, politics and society. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 2003 Fall Quarter.

This is a introductory survey of Middle East History from the 7th century to the present. We will focus on broad political, social, economic, and religious patterns. Important transitional points and change over time will be emphasized.  

 HIS 7B: History of Latin America, 1700-1900 (Latin American) - Professor Perez Melendez

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Latin America from colony to republic. The nature of Iberian colonialism, the causes for independence, the creation of nation states, the difficulties in consolidating these nations, and the rise of Liberalism and export economies in the 19th century. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 2004 Fall Quarter.


How did Latin America and the Caribbean emerge in the nineteenth century, a period best described as the quintessential crucible of modernity? Moving from the late-colonial reforms of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires into the revolutionary period that disrupted them, this course will focus on the Latin American wars of independence and the state-formation processes that followed. What world forces and political philosophies molded Latin America’s great transformation? How did a whole region previously under the jurisdiction of three imperial powers fraction into a plurality of nation-states? And where does the Spanish and French Caribbean fit in?  

Classes will survey Latin America as an incredibly diverse world region crisscrossed by civil and regional wars, struggles over citizenship, contests over land, and enthralling artistic and literary traditions. Discussions will examine imperial ideologies and the multiple factors underwriting independence, the various modalities of government thought possible by contemporaries, the breakneck speed of government formation, and the consolidation of export-oriented economies that marked the region’s entry into a “Global South.”


HIS 9C: Korean Culture & Society: From Ancient Three Kingdoms to the Global K-Pop (Asia) - Professor Kim (Cross-Listed as EAS 88)

Description: Lecture/Discussion—4 hour(s). Evolution of Korean society from Three Kingdoms period (B.C.E 57 to C.E. 676) to the contemporary era emphasizing the perseverance and transformations of traditional social and cultural patterns. (Same course as EAS 088.) GE credit: AHWC. Effective: 2019 Winter Quarter.

Classroom & Hours: Chemistry 179, TTR 4:40-6:00 pm (in-person class schedule: subject to change), section meeting attendance mandatory and separately graded. 

Course CRN:  27739 (HIS 9C), 19650 (EAS 88)

 History 9C is an introduction to Korean culture and history from the era marked by the first signs of human habitation in the Korean peninsula to the early decades of 21st century. Following the conclusion of the Second World War/Pacific War, South Korea has risen up from the devastations wreaked by that war as well as the extremely destructive and divisive Korean War to become not only an economic powerhouse but also a global exporter of influential popular culture. Meanwhile, North Korea has retained its notoriety as a “rogue state,” virtually the only nation still operating under the Cold War mindset in the world today. Given the critical importance of both Koreas to the security, welfare and progress of the world as we know today, it is important more than ever for an American (or any other country’s) citizen to understand basics of the culture and history of Korea.

The topics covered in this course include, among others, formation and development of the distinctive Korean identity in the context of the peninsula’s interactions with other nations and civilizations (including China, Japan and the US), evolution of political systems and worldviews (including but not limited to adaptations and transformations of Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Communism and democracy), encounters with imperialism, compressed modernization and Cold War dynamics, and global success of the South Korean popular culture once derided and denigrated by the elite classes (cinema, K-pop and so on). Hopefully, the participants will be stimulated to learn about both Koreas reaching beyond the shallow caricatures often thrown about in the internet or even mainstream news media.

All readings are in English language, and so are class discussions. Prior knowledge of Korean history is not required. Such knowledge may be helpful to a certain extent but does not necessarily guarantee a good grade.  This course will not extensively engage with the Korean American experience (although the history of Korean diaspora will be covered to a certain extent), nor with North-South conflict and relations from the viewpoint of political or military science. Those who are interested in these topics are advised to seek out the appropriate courses offered in Asian American Studies or other programs.

Requirements: Attendance at in-person lectures or prerecorded lectures uploaded at Aggie Video and Box.com (contingent on the COVID-19 regulations for Winter 2022), participation in section meetings (mandatory and separately graded), midterm and final examinations (administered as take-home) and a term paper.

HIS 10C: World History 1850-Present (World) - 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 the current global catastrophe. Our focus will be on modernity as a process of creative destruction. We will begin with the global world of the 19th century (“disciplinary societies”) and end by asking if we live in what the philosopher Gilles Deleuze calls a “society of control.” We conclude by contemplating what it might mean to imagine hope as survival in the aftermath of an ongoing catastrophe. The emphasis will be on understanding comparisons and connections across multiple societies and histories rather than comprehensive coverage. The course will be taught asynchronously with in-person sections.

GE credit: AH, SS, WC, WE.

Required Textbook:

Robert Tignor, et. al., Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World, 1750­-present Volume C, 3rd ed. or 4th ed. or 5th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011, 2014, 2018).


HIS 12: Food & History (World) - Professor McKee and Professor Resendez

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Survey of the ways humans have fed themselves from the dawn of humanity to the present. Transformation of plants and animals into food, cooking into cuisine, and ceremony into etiquette. GE credit: AHOLSSVLWCWE. Effective: 2014 Fall Quarter.

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 cultures, economies, and societies. We trace the transformation of plants and animals into food, cooking into cuisine, ceremony into etiquette, and home cooking into national cuisine. 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.  

Required Texts (available in the UCD Bookstore, online, and on reserve at Shields Library): 

  • Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human 
  • Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History
  • Toni Tipton-Martin, Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking 
  • Short articles (to be supplied for free as PDFs) for discussion in section 


HIS 17A: History of the United States (US) - Professor Downs

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). The experience of the American people from the Colonial Era to the Civil War. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSSWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

 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. 


HIS 17B: History of the United States (US) - Professor Rauchway

DescriptionLecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). The experience of the American people from the Civil War to the end of the Cold War. Not open for credit to students who have completed HIS 017C. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSSWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

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


HIS 18B: Race in the United States Since 1865 (US) - Professor Leroy

DescriptionLecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Introduction to the history of race and racial formation in America since 1865 though a comparative approach that examines the experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Native American and Mexican Americans and other Latino/a groups. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSS. Effective: 2018 Spring Quarter.

From the Black Lives Matter movement to cries of “Build a Wall!” questions of race and racial equality continue to divide Americans and stir political debate. This course provides an introduction to the history of race in the United States since 1865. We will approach this history thematically, with a particular focus on dispossession, incarceration, and xenophobia. In addition to covering major events that have shaped the history of race, we will also consider how the past shapes the present, and how understanding the history of race gives us better insight into ongoing struggles for racial justice.

Grading is based on participation in discussion section, three papers, and two take-home exams. There are three required texts:

- Nick Estes, Our History Is the Future

- Kelly Lytle Hernández, City of Inmates

- Erika Lee, America for Americans


HIS 72A: Women & Gender in America, to 1865 (US) - Staff

DescriptionLecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). History of women and gender in America through 1865, emphasizing intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Topics include interracial marriage, slavery, witchcraft, meanings of motherhood, war, domestic labor, moral reform, women’s rights, migrations, the effects of commercialization and industrialization. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSSWE. Effective: 2014 Fall Quarter.



Upper Division Seminars


HIS 102D: Modern Europe to 1815 (Europe) - Professor Stirling-Harris

TopicMaking Race in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Limited enrollment. Designed primarily for history majors. Intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing in selected topics in the various fields of history. Modern Europe to 1815. May be repeated for credit. GE credit: WE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

When historians discuss modern ideas about race and racism, they tend to focus on the Atlantic slave trade and the development of “scientific racism,” a legacy of the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century physical anthropological scholarship. Yet ideas about race, ethnicity, and social difference have a much deeper history, a history connected to questions of religious and cultural difference, as well as perceived physical variations among people. Our seminar will explore this timely topic, looking at the changing ways that Europeans thought about race, both among themselves and increasingly, among the peoples of the wider world. Our readings range from classic case studies to the latest scholarship, coupled with selections from primary sources. Assignments will include weekly reader response papers 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 aspects of the seminar’s topic and questions via a close analysis of an assigned primary source.


HIS 102E:  Europe Since 1815 (Europe) - Professor Zientek


Topic: The Experience of War in the 20th Century

DescriptionSeminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Limited enrollment. Designed primarily for history majors. Intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing in selected topics in the various fields of history. Europe since 1815. May be repeated for credit. GE credit: WE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.


HIS 102M:  United States Since 1896 (United States) - Professor Materson

Topic: History of Feminism in the United States

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Limited enrollment. Designed primarily for history majors. Intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing in selected topics in the various fields of history. United States since 1896. May be repeated for credit. GE credit: WE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

Students in this course will explore contemporary questions and issues 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. 

HIS 102X:  Comparative History (World) - Professor Kim

Topic: Understanding Modern Korean History Through Cinema (and Understanding Modern Korean Cinema Through History)

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Limited enrollment. Designed primarily for history majors. Intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing in selected topics in the various fields of history. Comparative History, selected topics in cultural, political, economic, and social history that deal comparatively with more than one geographic field. GE credit: WE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

Time: Tuesday 12:10- 3:00 pm
Classroom:  Social Science 4202
CRN:  44623

This course is an advanced undergraduate seminar exploring the modern Korean history from a global and transnational perspective by focusing on its representation in the medium of New Korean Cinema, one of the most successful case studies in the globalization of East Asian cultures in the recent decades.  Why has the Korean cinema, that had a humble beginning in a colonized nation and had gone through the periods of severe persecution and contemptuous dismissal, become so successful after 1990s?  Why does the consuming public all over the world respond so well to the issues, themes, characters and narratives thought to be firmly grounded in the specifics of modern Korean history?  Do Korean films portray a different type of human emotions, lives, philosophies or the world from what most global viewers are familiar with from Hollywood and American films?  What can we learn about modern Korean historical experience from watching these films?  Conversely, what does the history of modern Korean cinema, as a major and dominant popular artform in both North and South Korea, tell us about the contours of Korean history not immediately apparent from studying political ideologies or economic structures?

In this seminar, we will read a series of academic studies and critical essays on select Korean films made between 1910 and 2020, along with supplementary texts on the historical backgrounds of these films.  The ensuing discussions, critical reflections and exchange of ideas will hopefully enhance our understanding of both Korean cinema as an artform and modern Korean history.   We will also move away from attempting to identify the “unique-ness” or “cultural peculiarities” of Korean culture through its cinema, and instead focus on the hybrid and transnational nature of the Korean cinema and modern Korean history.

Requirements: All participants are required to do the assigned readings and watch the films assigned at home (this means 1 ½- 2 hours of extra time every week aside from the class sessions). The films will be made available through free-of-charge websites such as Hoopla, Kanopy and/or YouTube’s Korean Film Archive pages.  They are also required to write short weekly reflection papers on the readings as well as the assigned films or make 15-minute oral presentations in lieu of the papers.  There will also be a longer term paper due at the examination week based on a topic to be determined in collaboration with the instructor.

Main Textbooks

  • Paquet, Darcy. New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves (Wallflower Press, 2010).
  • An, Jinsoo. Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema (University of California Press, 2018).
  • Klein, Christina.  Cold War Cosmopolitanism (University of California Press, 2020).
  • Hye Seung Chung, David Scott Diffrient. Movie Minorities: Transnational Rights Advocacy and South Korean Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2021).




Upper Division


HIS 110A: Colonialism & the Making of the Modern World (World) - Professor El Shakry

This course will be a thematic exploration of colonialism as an historical, political, cultural, and psychological experience. Topics may include: Columbus and ‘the cannibals’; the Spanish conquest of Mexico; the Atlantic slave trade; racial capitalism and modernity; the Haitian Revolution; British colonialism in India and Egypt; the Belgian Congo; the relation between Self and Other in the colonial encounter; the psychology of race and racism; and the Algerian war of decolonization. We will engage a diverse array of primary and secondary sources, novels, and films in our exploration. All course readings and films will be available online. The course will be taught synchronously. Background knowledge of modern world history is strongly recommended. The course will be taught synchronously online.

GE credit: AH, SS, VL, WC, WE.


HIS 115A: History of West Africa (Africa) - Professor Jean-Baptiste

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Prerequisite(s): HIS 015 recommended. West and Central Africa from 1500 to the present. Origins and impact of precolonial states and societies, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, decolonization, nationalism, and changes in religions, politics, economics, gender, and culture. GE credit: AHWCWE. Effective: 2018 Winter Quarter.


HIS 125: Topics in Early Modern European History (Europe) - Professor Stuart  

Description: Discussion/Laboratory—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Social and cultural history, 1300-1800. Topics such as medieval and Renaissance Italy, early modern Italy, Ancient Regime France, family and sexuality, and material culture and daily life. May be repeated for credit. May be repeated for credit. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 2016 Spring Quarter.

Topic: Witchcraft and Witch Hunting in Early Modern Society

About 50,000 people perished in the European witch-hunt, mostly in the century between 1560 and 1660. We explore the particular set of circumstances that encouraged these “burning times” in the era of the baroque. We study earlier prosecutions of heretics and Jews as a kind of model for the witch trials that followed. Prosecutions of Jews focused mostly on men, but most victims of the witch-hunt were older women. What were the gender stereotypes that led to this particular construction of the witch? About 15 % of accused witches were men, however. What made these men vulnerable to witchcraft accusations? Did warlocks practice a different, masculine magic? At the same time as thousands of witches were dying at the stake, more and more Europeans believed themselves to be victims of demonic possession. We compare the roles of witches and demoniacs and study rituals of exorcism.  Children played a problematic role in the witch-hunts. Witchcraft often served as an explanation for high infant mortality, and children featured prominently among the accusers of witches. But after 1680, children took on a new role: as perpetrators of witchcraft. We will explore the paradox that on the eve of the Enlightenment, the so-called “Age of the Child” that recognized childhood as a special stage of life that needed to be protected and nurtured, children were accused of—and executed—for witchcraft more than ever before.  Finally, we ask when, how, and why the witch-hunts ended. People didn’t stop believing in witchcraft—why did they stop burning witches?

For more images, go here: https://www.facebook.com/UCDDepartmentOfHistory/posts/10157585027645806

Books for purchase:

  • R. Po-chia Hsia, Trent 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial
  • Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany



HIS 131B: European History During the Renaissance & Reformation (Europe) - Professor Stirling-Harris 

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Survey of European society, politics, and culture from the late 15th through the early 17th centuries, with particular focus on the Italian and Northern Renaissance, on the Protestant Reformation, and the Catholic Counter Reformation. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 1997 Fall Quarter.

History 131B, “European History During the Renaissance and Reformation” explores the history of western Europe between the late fifteenth and the mid-seventeenth centuries, a complex period that marked the turn from the medieval to the modern world. Over the course of the quarter, we’ll explore this slow shift and the ideas and events which characterized it. This period is often called the “Early Modern” period, and we’ll spend some time thinking about that label, examining what made it “modern,” and what linked it to periods that came before, especially the “Medieval” era. We’ll devote particular attention to shifting concepts of community and identity and to links between religious ideas and social, political, and cultural change. Topics include humanism, European expansion in the Americas and beyond, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, social status and gender roles, and the development of the modern state and of modern economic forms. Assignments will include two papers, a midterm, and a final exam, as well as regular reading responses.


HIS 134A: The Age of Revolution (Europe) Professor Zientek

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s). Ideas and institutions during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era. GE credit: AHSSWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

This course will provide a history of the “Age of Revolution” in the Western world between 1776 and 1815. It is transnational and considers the American Revolution, the French Revolution, Napoleon, and the Haitian Revolution, as well as early capitalism, socialism, and Bolivarism. The course features three core narrative threads: comparative theories of representative government; the origin of universal human rights; and the nature of political mass violence.


HIS 136: Scientific Revolution (Europe) - Professor Stolzenberg

Description: Lecture/Discussion—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Rise of modern science in Europe, 1500–1750. Transformation of ideas about nature, knowledge, medicine, and technology in the age of Copernicus, Vesalius, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. (Same course as STS 136.) GE credit: AHSSWC. Effective: 2021 Winter Quarter.

What does it mean to understand nature in modern—and pre-modern—ways? Today we take for granted that science involves mathematical laws, experimentation, discovering new phenomena, and the creation of technologies that provide power over nature. None of these was true about European natural science in 1500. All had become widely accepted by 1700. This class treats the transformation of European ideas about nature, knowledge, and technology during the age of Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. We will explore the intellectual culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to examine issues such as scientific methods, instruments and experimentation, religion, and the control of nature.  

Topics include astronomy, physics, chemistry/alchemy, natural magic, medicine, and natural history. Evaluation is based on short writing assignments, quizzes, midterm, and final. This course satisfies GE requirements for AH, SS, and WC. There are no prerequisites, and no prior knowledge is necessary. 

Readings: Peter Dear, The Scientific Revolution, and miscellaneous primary sources. 


HIS 142A: History of the Holocaust (Europe) - Professor Biale 

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Topics include comparative genocide, medieval and modern antisemitism, modern German history, the rise of Nazism, Jewish life in Europe before the Nazi period, and the fate of the Jewish communities and other persecuted groups in Europe from 1933-1945. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 2016 Fall Quarter.

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, first by instituting policies of exclusion and expulsion and then mass murder. 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 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 that has relevance to our world today. 

Required Books: 

  • Doris Bergen, Holocaust and Genocide
  • Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler
  • Marion Kaplan, Between Dignity and Despair
  • Dawid Sierakowiak, Diary
  • Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwtiz
  • Ivan Jablonka, History of Grandparents I Never Had


HIS 161: Human Rights in Latin America (Latin America) - Professor Walker

DescriptionLecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. History of the origins, denial and protection of Human Rights in Latin America. Emphasis on dictatorships, political violence, social resistance, democracy, justice, accountability, truth commissions, memory. (Same course as HMR 161.) GE credit: AHSSVLWCWE. Effective: 2015 Spring Quarter.

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, Peru, and Guatemala), but students will be allowed to develop their own interests in a final paper. Key topics include the Cold War; violence and memory; environmentalism; and truth commissions and justice.

Students will be asked to write two take-home papers of 3 pages as well as one 5-7-page paper.   Or, students may petition to write a single, 11-13-page paper. There will also be a map quiz, a mid-term, and final. 

BOOKS (all available used and in paperback)

  • Víctor Montejo, Testimonio: Death of a Guatemalan Village
  • Nina Lakhani, Who Killed Berta Caceres? The Murder of an Indigenous Defender and the Race to Save the Planet
  • Jacobo Timerman, Prisoner without a name, Cell without a Number
  • Lurgio Gavilán S., When Rains Became Floods: A Child Soldier’s Story



HIS 163B: History of Brazil (Latin America) - Professor Perez Melendez

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s). The history of the Brazilian republic from 1889 to the present. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

With the rise of an unapologetically classist, racist and homophobic far-right government in 2018 and the resurgence of extreme poverty, where is Brazil headed? Understanding Brazil’s present challenges calls for deep historical reflection. How did such a geographically and culturally diverse country get to this point of unending crisis? When did inequality originate? How did ideas about a Brazilian “racial democracy” that is nowhere to be found today develop in the first place? And how have conservative elites managed to keep such a tight grip over the state generation after generation? Lectures will survey the most salient features in the political history of Brazil from the arrival of the Portuguese royal household in 1808 to the most recent blunders of the right-wing government in power. By the same token, the course will examine the actions of indigenous peoples, enslaved women and men, radical republicans, and the black and student movements, among others, in their efforts to make Brazil more equal and set the record straight. 


HIS 166B: History of Mexico since 1848 (Latin America) - Professor Resendez

Description: Lecture/Discussion—3 hour(s). History of Mexico from 1848 to the present. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

This course will be devoted to the political, social, and cultural history of Mexico from independence to the present. Using journalistic accounts, videos, fiction, and scholarly works we will probe into the lives of Mexico’s diverse population and show that the country’s seemingly contemporary challenges involving migration, drug wars, insurgency, corruption, political gridlock, and others are in fact deeply rooted in the past. 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.  


HIS 169B: Mexican-American History (US or Latin America) - Professor Oropeza

Description: Lecture/Discussion—3 hour(s). Role of the Mexican and Mexican-American or Chicano in the economy, politics, religion, culture and society of the Southwestern United States since 1910. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSSWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

This course offers an overview of the political, social and cultural experiences of Mexicans and Mexican Americans within the United States since 1910.Throughout most of the twentieth century, people of Mexican descent have found themselves valued as laborers in the United States but more rarely considered worthy of first-class citizenship. Thus, a central task for members of this ethnic group--women and men alike --has been defining and defending their place within the United States especially in light of continued immigration from Latin America. To better understand the continual negotiation between this ethnic Mexican margin and the American mainstream, the themes of the course include the malleability of ethnic identity, the struggle for economic opportunity, civil rights, and social justice, the construction of Mexican American communities, and the changing significance of the border. 


HIS 170A: Colonial America (US) - Professor Smolenski 

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. 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. GE credit: ACGHAHSSWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

This course examines the settlement, growth, and development of European colonial societies in North America from the era of contact and conquest through the Seven Years’ War. Colonial America was a diverse, complex, vibrant, and often violent place; its history contains numerous stories of tragedy and triumph, struggle and survival, cooperation, and coercion. Out of these interactions between Indians, Europeans, and Africans emerged multicultural, creole societies. Over the course of this quarter, we will address many facets of this rich history, exploring such topics as the European “discovery” and conquest of America; the settlement of European colonies; the Indian response to European invasion; the rise of African slavery in the Americas; the evolution of colonial thought and culture; and the rivalry between European imperial powers over the Americas.  

The course also means to challenge and develop your abilities to think critically about diverse evidence and to argue persuasively in support of your conclusions. You should not undertake this course unless you are willing and able to attend lectures consistently and to perform the considerable reading and writing assignments punctually. The papers will be critically examined for style as well as content. 


HIS 172: American Environmental History (US) - Professor Warren 

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. American history through connections between people and nature, pre-Columbus to climate change. Native America; conquest; epidemics; extinctions; industrialization; pollution; environmentalism; climate change and global warming; ideas of nature. GE credit: ACGHAHSSWE. Effective: 2018 Fall Quarter.

 From Native American domestication of corn to colonial epidemics, from the making of the atomic bomb to global climate change, this course reveals a new way of understanding the American past by asking big questions about humans, nature, and the shifting bonds between them. How does American history look different when we consider germs, mosquitoes, pigs, plants, and coal as key actors in stories 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"? And were all those national parks actually unoccupied when they were created?) 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 is environmental justice connected to the environmental movement? How did fears of overpopulation contribute to the development of the birth control pill --and with what consequences for ideas of sex, gender, and nature? Who invented Earth Day and the EPA? How did decisions about agriculture and urban growth contribute to the frequent droughts we are experiencing today? 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? Why and how have climate change deniers seized the upper hand in public debate—or have they? Join us to learn the answers to these and similar questions as we see American history in a new light. Lectures, discussion, readings, film. 


HIS 177B: History of Black People & American Race Relations: 1860-Present (US) - Professor Leroy 

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Term Paper. History of black people and race relations from 1860-present. Emphasis on Civil War, Reconstruction, Segregation, Age of Accommodation, black nationalism, urbanization, civil rights, and changing ideology of race relations. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSSWE. Effective: 2010 Winter Quarter.

This course takes us from the post-Civil War South to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in a survey of African American history from 1877 to the present. Beginning with the violent backlash against Reconstruction and concluding with the Black Lives Matter movement, the central theme of this course is the ongoing struggle for black freedom after the abolition of slavery. Exploring the tensions between radical black visions of freedom and ever-evolving forms of white supremacy, we will pay particular attention to histories of black internationalism; black feminist and socialist thought; black responses to American militarism and the Cold War; and prisons and policing. The story of African American history is often told as a steady march from slavery to freedom, but we will pay as much attention to the setbacks and contradictions of this forward movement in order to tease out the promises, potential, and limitations of freedom for black people in the United States.

All required texts will be provided on Canvas or through the library free of charge. Grade is based on weekly quizzes, two papers, and two take-home exams.


HIS 184: History of Sexuality in America (US) - Staff

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Extensive Writing. History of sexuality in America from pre-European through the late-20th century. Topics include birth control, marriage, sexual violence, prostitution, inter-racial relationships, heterosexuality and homosexuality, the feminist, gay, and lesbian liberation movements, AIDS, commercialization of sexuality. GE credit: ACGHAHDDSSWE. Effective: 2003 Fall Quarter.


HIS 188: America in the 1960s (US) - Professor Olmsted and Professor Rauchway

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Extensive Writing/Discussion—1 hour(s). Tumult and upheaval in American politics, culture, and society 1961-1969. Civil rights; Vietnam, the draft and the anti-war movement; rock and roll and the counterculture; modern feminism; modern conservatism; student movements; urban unrest and insurrection. GE credit: ACGHDDSSWE. Effective: 2011 Fall Quarter.

The 1960s saw the end of postwar liberalism and the beginnings of our own time, with the success of the movement for civil rights and the emergence of modern conservatism. At the start of the decade, the prosperous country's leaders told their citizens there was no limit to American ambition except Americans' own imagination and willpower. To a greater extent than ever before or since, the country focused on the well-being and concerns of young people, urging them to spread American ideals and values around the world and even beyond, into space. But the global appeal of America's culture and unprecedented power of its technology and industry could not stop the nation from getting mired in the Vietnam War. By the end of the decade, Americans increasingly questioned the legitimacy and purpose of their national ideals, facing an uncertain future of environmental degradation and racial conflict. 


HIS 196A: Medieval India (Asia) - Professor Anooshahr 

Description: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Survey of history of India in the millennium preceding arrival of British in the 18th century, focusing on interaction of the civilizations of Hinduism and Islam and on the changing nature of the state. GE credit: AHSSWCWE. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

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


MSA 100: Middle East And South Asia: Comparative Perspectives (Middle East or Asia) - Professor Tezcan 

Description: This course provides a comparative basis for an understanding of the Middle East and South Asia.GE credit: ArtHum/SocSci, Div, Wrt. // AH/SS, WC, WE

TR, 1:40-3 @ Wellman 205 -- CRN: 33676

After an introduction that will familiarize the students with the issues related to Orientalism, the course will first focus on medieval intersections in religion. This first part will concentrate on the conversion of various peoples in the Middle East and South Asia to Islam in the medieval period with a view to historicize Islam, analyze its relationship with other religious traditions in these two regions, and underline its transformation as it came to be adopted by diverse peoples.

Early modern imperial intersections form the focus of the second part of the course which will approach the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires comparatively. All of these three empires governed multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies that were based on largely agrarian economies, and articulated authority in comparable ways. Last but not least, the socio-political orders they guarded were influenced by similar founding ideologies and impacted by the development of merchant capitalism in north-western Europe.

Finally, the last part will concentrate on the modern period and discuss such issues as colonialism, nationalism, and post-coloniality as they have played out in both the Middle East and South Asia.

 Textbook: None; however, students are expected to read all the readings uploaded on Canvas.



HIS 201I: Latin America Since 1810 - Professor Walker (cfwalker@ucdavis.edu)

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Designed primarily for students preparing for higher degrees in history. Latin America since 1810. May be repeated for credit when subject differs. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

Topic: Revolutions in World History (HIS 201I counts for Human Rights DE Elective)

This course takes a long-term approach to revolution, addressing the concept's development and many meanings.  The concept  (Latin revolutio, turn around) has circulated since at least Aristotle and the term appears in French in the 13th century and English in the 14th.

The course will jump across the centuries and the globe, and I will  encourage students to write a final paper on some aspect of revolutions: theory, practice, specific ones, women in Cuba, meanings in Late Capitalism, etc. I will be flexible about the topic.

We will build on the Shelby Cullom Davis Center's year-long focus on Revolutionary Change. (I will be in residence there in fall 2021): https://history.princeton.edu/centers-programs/shelby-cullom-davis-center

Preliminary week-by-week topics.

Please purchase Popkin, DuBois, Marx and Engels, Rius, and Fitzpatrick

  1. 1. What are revolutions and the Age of Revolution?

            (Readings provided)

            recommended: Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station

  1. 2. Age of Revolutions: France

            Jeremy Popkin, A Short History of the French Revolution


  1. 3. Haitian Revolution

            Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution

  1. 4. Karl Marx,

            Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto and

            Rius, Marx for Beginners

  1. 5. Russia Revolution

            Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (Oxford) 

  1. 6. Mexican Revolution

            Series of articles, to be provided

  1. 7. Cuban Revolution (and a brief review of China)

            Series of articles, to be provided

  1. 8. New Social Revolutions and the New Left

            Series of articles, to be provided


  1. 9. Presentations and short readings on Gender and Revolution

            Series of articles, to be provided

  1. 10. Presentations and short readings on Revolutions, Human Rights, and the Global South

            Series of articles, to be provided. https://lab.org.uk/voices/


HIS 201J: American History to 1787 - Professor Smolenski 

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Designed primarily for students preparing for higher degrees in history. American History to 1787. May be repeated for credit when subject differs. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.


HIS 201M: Middle East - Professor Tezcan

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Addresses various theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the Modern Middle East. Survey Modern Middle East historiography in light of theoretical innovations such as post-Orientalism, World Systems theory, and postcolonial theory. May be repeated for credit when subject differs. Effective: 2011 Winter Quarter.

Topic: Race and Color across Time and Space: The case of the pre-modern Islamic World

This seminar explores the question of race in pre-modern and non-western worlds. We will attempt to construct a critical language about relationships of power affected by skin color in pre-modern and non-western worlds without rejecting the specificity of the modern concepts of race and racism that developed in the historical context of European colonialism. Are race and racism truly modern concepts, or could one find their precursors in the pre-modern world? Does a direct line connect pre-modern prejudices related to skin color with modern ideas about race, or do the latter represent a new development? Was the modern concept of race produced by colonialism? If so, what distinguishes modern colonialism from earlier historical experiences of military conquest followed by socio-economic exploitation? What kind of power relations were produced by pre-modern examples of colonialism and how conducive were they to pre-modern prejudices about skin color? This seminar will address these and other related questions in the context of the pre-modern Islamic empires that comprised peoples of different colors.

This seminar also emphasizes the political implications of studying race in pre-modern and non-western worlds. The pre-modern Islamic World provides ample opportunity to study academic politics. What kind of problems does one face while studying the Islamic World in the West today? Is it possible to study race in the Islamic World without taking—explicitly or implicitly—a political position in relation to Africans, Arabs, Blackamericans, Muslims, the Middle East, and American foreign policy? How does one navigate a critical approach to the past that may have political implications for the present?

HIS 202H: Major Issues in Historical Interpretation: United States - Professor St. John 

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Term Paper. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing. Fundamental issues and debates in the study of history. United States. Readings, papers, and class reports. May be repeated for credit when subject differs. Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.

Topic: Indians, Empires, Nations: A Borderlands History of North America        

In this reading seminar, students will explore the major themes and historiographical approaches to the study of North American borderlands history. A rapidly expanding and diverse field, borderlands history focuses on the interactions of peoples, nations, and empires across the boundaries of Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Beginning with the earliest European claims to the continent, this course will explore recent writings on the interactions of Europeans and Native peoples as Spain, Britain, and France attempted to conquer North America. In the second half of the class, we will turn to the transition from empires to nation-states in North America and explore how Mexico, the United States, and Canada worked to assert state power and create national space and citizens in the borderlands between nations. Course topics include: imperial claims and competition; Native peoples’ responses to conquest; space and mapping; state and nation-building; settlement and economic integration; interactions between the human and non-human environment; and conflict and cooperation between different racial and ethnic groups. 


HIS 203B: Research Seminar - Professor Campbell

Description: Seminar—3 hour(s); Tutorial—1 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): HIS 203A. Designed for students preparing for higher degrees in history. Individual research and analysis resulting in substantial research paper of publishable quality. Completion required of all Ph.D. candidates. The three courses must be taken in continuous sequence, ordinarily during second year. Effective: 2004 Winter Quarter.


HIS 389: Introductory Seminar for Teaching Assistants - Professor Campbell 

Description: Discussion—2 hour(s). Designed for teaching assistants with emphasis on problems and procedures encountered by teachers of lower division classes at the university. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 1997 Winter Quarter.