Course Descriptions for Summer 2018
Below, you’ll find course descriptions for the 300- and 400-level undergraduate courses we’re offering during summer 2018. Introductory and graduate courses are not included.
HST 490-1: Problems in History-US
Bishop Room 104
Dr. Shennette Garrett-Scott
In these courses, which meet together, we will emphasize the African American experience to explore how race and gender have shaped and been shaped by U.S. capitalism. This course highlights African American enterprise and activism in selected historical periods from the seventeenth century to the present. Our key questions include: What is black capitalism and how has its meaning changed over time? How have African Americans defined and confronted the limitations of democratic capitalism as a liberatory space and practice? Do the institutions and practices of black capitalism represent a challenge or an accommodation to structures of capitalist accumulation and white supremacy—or does resistance versus accommodation even accurately capture the complexity of African Americans’ roles in the U.S. economy and society? As we explore these and other questions, we will consider a wide range of African American enterprises and businesses: formal and informal, traditional and non-traditional, legal and illegal, for profit and philanthropic, as well as artisans, professionals, and entertainers. Thus, we will explore intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and place to force a reconceptualization of black capitalism’s place within the Black Radical Tradition in particular and U.S. History more broadly.
The first week of the course proceeds chronologically from African origins to the Great Depression. The last week of the course proceeds thematically, exploring a critical historical moment (e.g. the Civil Rights and Black Power Era) and specific dimensions of contemporary African American sports and entertainment. We will use a course reader with a curated collection of book chapters, journal articles, blog posts, and primary sources.
Crippled Capitalists: Free Black Women and Men’s Antebellum Enterprise
#BlackBanksMatter: Black Banks, 1880s–1920s
A Negro World: The Business of Respectability in the New Negro Era
The Business of Black Power
Fade to Black: African American Cinema
O Philanthropy: Oprah Winfrey and the Business of Giving
“Big Pimpin’”: Hip-Hop Entrepreneurship
HST 492-1: Problems in History-World
“Decolonization in Africa”
Bishop Room 101
Dr. Bashir Salau
Between the late nineteenth century and the mid-1950s, almost all of Africa was controlled by European governments. Since the mid-1950s, however, the European empires in Africa have crumbled. The main focus of this course is the decline of European political power over Africa, especially since the mid-1950s. We will consider different theories of decolonization and go on to examine the genesis and development of nationalism in northern Africa, western Africa, eastern Africa and southern Africa. Major themes include methods of decolonization, legacies of colonialism, women and nationalism, nationalism and Pan-Africanism, and nationalism and labor movements. Students should note that since this is an intersession course it is primarily designed to enhance their understanding of processes of decolonization in Africa although at the end of the course they should also be able to: a) analyze and evaluate the different theories and perspectives on nationalism in Africa, b) write insightfully on various aspects of decolonization in Africa, c) deliver coherent oral presentations on decolonization in Africa.
FIRST SUMMER TERM
HST 343: History of the Holocaust
Dr. Joshua First
This course takes an in-depth look at the genocidal policies of the Nazi regime and its allies during the Second World War. During the period 1941-1945, much of Europe’s Jewish population was destroyed, especially in Eastern Europe. We will grapple with the early and modern history of anti-Semitism, why such hatred was transformed from the realm of popular violence to a state policy of systematic mass murder in Nazi Germany, and how the Nazis and their allies accomplished such horrific acts of mass murder. The final portion of the course addresses how Jews and non-Jews alike have remembered the Holocaust, and used memory of the Holocaust to advance other political and human rights agendas. Through attendance in lecture, and extensive reading and analysis of both historiography and primary sources, students should leave History 343 with a complex understanding of the Holocaust, in addition to a clear sense of how and why it matters today, and how we go about understanding and interpreting it.
HST 374: Nationalism in Africa
Dr. Bashir Salau
This course surveys the development of nationalism in twentieth century Africa. Following an introduction to key concepts, special attention will be devoted to examining the many sides of nationalism and to considering exactly where, why, how and when it inspired conflict in modern Africa. Among the topics to be looked at are: nationalism, African nationalism, social and economic bases of nationalism in colonial Africa, the two world wars and African nationalism, nationalism and decolonization, the Cold War and African nationalism, the limits of nationalism, the African military and nationalism, and the recreation of nationalism in postcolonial Africa. In focusing on postcolonial Africa, the course will specifically examine developments in Nigeria and Rwanda. The course will enable you to think comparatively about nationalism in Africa and provide you with knowledge about the relationship between nationalism, ethnicity, race, globalization and conflict. It will also enhance your knowledge of major historiographical debates on nationalism. Finally, reading, writing, and presenting assignments in this course will help you with the kind of attitude(s), knowledge and skills needed to be successful in life.
HST 426: The American Dream
Dr. Darren Grem
Work hard, get rich, be happy. That’s the “American Dream.” And that’s what we all want and can achieve in America, right? Or is it what we all want? Or, heck, can we actually achieve it?
The purpose of this course is to interrogate the origins of this idea and how various American citizens, second-class citizens, and non-citizens have debated who could or should attain the American Dream. It also examines other visions of the American Dream and how Americans could, should, or shouldn’t try to attain it, whatever “it” is or was. We will use a variety of sources, three contemporary books, films, music, and routine in-class discussion to study the many historical manifestations of the American Dream and their various promoters and critics.
SECOND SUMMER TERM
HST 332: Europe since 1945
Dr. Joseph Peterson
HST 450: Southern History to 1900
Mr. Justin Rogers
Through a combination of lecture and student-led discussion, this course will cover the history of the American South and its diverse inhabitants from first peoples’ contact with European invaders at the end of the fifteenth century through the emergence of Jim Crow in the late nineteenth century. Broadly, the course will consider the following questions: To what extent was the history of the United States South shaped by, as scholar William A. Link argues, a “clash of identities?” As a region, was “the South” distinct from the rest of the U.S.? How did southern peoples shape national and international trends and events? Over the past three decades, in what ways have academic historians’ methods and sources complicated understandings of southern peoples, cultures, societies, and economics?
The course will begin with early historians’ perceptions of southern regional distinctiveness and an overview of the geographic region that and the peoples who came to be known as “the South” and as “southerners” by the early nineteenth century. Proceeding both chronologically and thematically across the nineteenth century, the course’s next phase will cover topics that may include but will not be limited to: the Native South, westward migration, the plantation economy, religion and culture, enslaved and free black people, slaveholding, southern women, gender and sexuality, sectionalism, the Confederate homefront, emancipation, Reconstruction, and the origins of Jim Crow. The course will end by evaluating the South’s position in the nation at the turn of the twentieth century and by analyzing conceptions of the South in popular culture and memory.
For each topic, course readings will be drawn from a variety of primary source documents, historical monographs, book chapters, and articles. At least once during the term, students will lead discussions by preparing short presentations and by providing the class with a list of open-ended questions. Leading and participating in class discussions will constitute a significant proportion of the course grade. All other assignments will be in written format and may include in-class and at-home argumentative essays and exams, primary source analyses, literature reviews, and film critiques.
HST 490: Problems in History-America
“The Salem Witch Trials”
Study USA Course in Boston and Salem, Massachusetts
Dr. Melinda Rice
Study one of the most famous and mythologized events from early American history, the Salem witch trials, in this Study USA course, where you’ll travel to Boston and Salem to tour historic sites such as Plimoth Plantation, Boston Common, the House of Seven Gables, the North End, and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, as well as sites with direct ties to the Witch Trials, such as Balch House, Hale Farm, and Johnathan Corwin’s home. As a result of this course, you’ll come to better understand the “little communities” that made up Massachusetts Bay Colony, and colonial New England as a whole, learn the European foundations of witch trials and the New England context for the period, and explore how different historians have interpreted the fascinating historical puzzle of the Salem Witch Trials. Finally, students will improve their writing and critical thinking skills, and utilize primary sources from 17th century to inform their final paper.
For more information about how to apply for this course, visit this Study USA page.
HST 491-1: Problems in History-Europe
“Women who Ruled in European History”
Bishop Room 101
Dr. Frances Kneupper
Anne Boleyn, Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, Joanna of Naples, Matilda of England: these are just some of the prominent women who shaped European history. This course will provide a history of female rulers in Europe, 900-1600. We will examine the lives of various famous and infamous rulers, as well as some who deserve to be better known. This course will explore the biographies of these women and the historical circumstances in which they ruled. We will also consider more generally the experiences and difficulties of women in power. What were the special challenges that they faced, and how did they cope? How did the experience of female rulers transform over time? We will contemplate questions of image and representation, including: How did female rulers represent themselves? How were they represented by others? And finally, how do they appear in contemporary media?