Location: Bowdoin / History / courses / Fall 2008


Fall 2008

012. Utopia: Intentional Communities in America, 1630-1997
Sarah McMahon M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
An examination of the evolution of utopian visions and utopian experiments that begins in 1630 with John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill,” explores the proliferation of both religious and secular communal ventures between 1780 and 1920, and concludes with an examination of twentieth-century counterculture communes, intentional communities, and dystopian separatists. Readings include primary source accounts by members (letters, diaries, essays, etc.), “community” histories and apostate exposés, utopian fiction, and scholarly historical analyses. Discussions and essays focus on teaching students how to subject primary and secondary source materials to critical analysis.

013. Living in the Sixteenth Century
Thomas Conlan M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Examines the nature of state and society in an age of turmoil. Studies patterns of allegiances, ways of waging war, codes of conduct, and the social matrix of sixteenth-century Japan, based on primary and secondary sources. Kurosawa’s masterpiece Kage Musha provides the thematic foundation for this course. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

020. In Sickness and in Health: Public Health in Europe and the United States
Susan Tananbaum M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Introduces a variety of historical perspectives on illness and health. Considers the development of scientific knowledge, and the social, political, and economic forces that have influenced public health policy. Topics include epidemics, maternal and child welfare, AIDS, and national healthcare.

026. Globalizing India
Rachel Sturman M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Interrogates contemporary globalization by examining how Indians have interacted with and been shaped by the broader world since the early modern era, with a focus on the last two centuries. Topics include early modern empires and trading networks; the place of India in the European imagination and vice versa; India’s role in the rise of modern global capitalism and imperialism; the significance of Gandhi; and the distinctive features of contemporary globalization.

060. Introduction to Historical Writing
Patrick Rael T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Focuses on skills necessary for analytic and critical writing, with special attention to drafting and revision of student essays. Provides practice in basic research and analytical skills required for working in history (and to a lesser degree other social sciences and humanities), and addresses basic grammar problems frequently encountered in college-level essays. Does not count toward the major or minor in history.

140. War and Society
Patrick Rael M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Explores the nature of warfare from the fifteenth century to the present. The central premise is that war is a reflection of the societies and cultures that wage it. This notion is tested by examining the development of war-making in Europe and the Americas from the period before the emergence of modern states, through the great period of state formation and nation building, to the present era, when the power of states to wage war in the traditional manner seems seriously undermined. Throughout, emphasis is placed on contact between European and non-European peoples. Students are required to view films every week outside of class.

202. Ancient Rome
Michael Nerdahl M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Surveys the history of Rome from its beginnings to the fourth century A.D. Considers the political, economic, religious, social, and cultural developments of the Romans in the context of Rome’s growth from a small settlement in central Italy to the dominant power in the Mediterranean world. Special attention is given to such topics as urbanism, imperialism, the influence of Greek culture and law, and multi-culturalism. Introduces different types of sources—literary, epigraphical, archaeological, etc.—for use as historical documents.

205. A History of the Body
Dallas Denery M  8:00 - 9:25
W  8:00 - 9:25
Examines changing conceptions of the body and gender from early Christianity through the Baroque. Special attention is paid to the cult of relics, bodily practices in Catholic and Reformed Christianity, the body of God, and the body as object of scientific investigation. Some background in lalssical, pre-modern, or early modern European history preferred. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

209. Cultures of Deception: The Court in European History
Dallas Denery M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Often looked upon as the source of European (indeed, Western) notions of civility and etiquette, the court was also a place of intrigue, gratuitous backstabbing, and grand deception. Examines the Roman origins of courtly ideals and traces their development to the end of the Middle Ages.

216. History of African and African Diasporic Political Thought
Olufemi Vaughan M  1:00 - 3:55
Introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Africana studies, with a particular focus on African American history, politics, sociology, literature, and culture; course materials also cover the experiences of the peoples of African ancestry in the Atlantic world, especially since the expansion of Europe in the fifteenth century. Material is covered chronologically and thematically, building historically centered accounts of African American, African, and African diasporic experiences. The goals of this course include the following: (1) to introduce students considering the Africana studies major or minor to the intellectually engaging field of Africana studies; (2) to provide a broad sweep of the field in terms of methodological, theoretical, and ideological perspectives; and (3) to provide contexts for the critical analyses of the African American experience in United States history, and the dynamic interplay of African and African diaspora experiences in the modern world.

219. Russia's Twentieth Century: Revolution and Beyond
Kimberly Herrlinger M  10:30 - 11:25
W  10:30 - 11:25
F  10:30 - 11:25
Examines major transformations in Russian society, culture, and politics from the Revolutions of 1917 through the fall of the Soviet Empire in 1991. Topics include the building of socialist society under Lenin and Stalin, the political Terror of the 1930s and the expansion of the Gulag system, the experience of World War II, Soviet influence in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, attempts at de-Stalinization under Khrushchev, everyday life under “developed socialism,” the period of “glasnost” and “perestroika” under Gorbachev, and the problems of de-Sovietization in the early 1990s.

223. Modern Britain, 1837 to the 1990s
Susan Tananbaum T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
A social history of modern Britain from the rise of urban industrial society in the early nineteenth century to the present. Topics include the impact of the industrial revolution, acculturation of the working classes, the impact of liberalism, the reform movement, and Victorian society. Concludes with an analysis of the domestic impact of the world wars and of contemporary society.

225. Image, Myth, and Memory
David Hecht M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Seminar. Which matters more: what happened, or what people *think* happened? This course starts with the assumption that cultural reaction to an event is as consequential -- perhaps more so -- than what actually happened. The class examines the cultural reception and changing historical memory of people, events, and ideas that have been central to modern American History. And it seeks to answer questions about the nature and construction of public opinion, popular images, and historical memory - and what the consequences of such processes and understandings have been. The first half of the course is an introduction to the themes and methods of studying popular and cultural history, drawing principally from examples in the history of science and post-World War II American culture. (Possible examples include nuclear weapons, evolution, genetics, climate change, student activism, feminism, abortion, education and presidential politics.) The second half of the course follows a workshop format, in which classes revolve around the reading and writing that students do as part of self-designed research projects -- projects which can be on any subject in modern United States history.

228. Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in the Making of Modern America
Brian Purnell T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Civil Rights and Black Power Movements and the Making of Modern America The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements remade American politics, society and culture. This course examines the political activism, cultural expressions and intellectual history that gave rise to a modern Black freedom movement, and that movement’s impact on the broader American (and international) society. Students will study the emergence of community organizing traditions in the southern black belt as well as postwar black activism in US cities; the role the federal government played in advancing civil rights legislation; the internationalism of African American activism; and the relationship between black culture, aesthetics and movement politics. The study of women and gender is central to this course. Using biographies, speeches, and community and organization studies, students will analyze the lives and contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, Septima Clark, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and Fannie Lou Hamer, among others. Finally, the course concludes with a close look at some of the legacies of the modern Black freedom movement: the expansion of the Black middle class, controversies over affirmative action, and the rise of Black elected officials.

233. American Society in the New Nation, 1763-1840
Sarah McMahon T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
A social history of the United States from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson. Topics include the various social, economic, cultural, and ideological roots of the movement for American independence; the struggle to determine the scope of the Constitution and the political shape of the new republic; the emergence of and contest over a new social and cultural order and the nature of American “identity”; and the diverging social, economic, and political histories of regions (North, South, and trans-Appalachian West) and peoples in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Topics include urbanization, industrialization, and the development of new forms of social organization in the North; religion and the Second Great Awakening; the westward expansion of the nation into areas already occupied; the southern plantation economy and slave communities; and the growth of the reform impulse in Jacksonian America.

234. Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl: Gender and the Suburbs
Jennifer Scanlon T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
The suburbs, where the majority of the nation’s residents live, have been alternately praised as the most visible sign of the American dream and vilified as the vapid core of homogeneous Middle America. How did the “burbs” come about, and what is their significance in American life? Begins with the history of the suburbs from the mid-nineteenth century to the post-World War II period, exploring the suburb as part of the process of national urbanization. Then explores more contemporary cultural representations of the suburbs in popular television, film, and fiction. Particular attention paid to gender, race, and consumer culture as influences in the development of suburban life.

235. Borderlands and Empires in Early North America
Matthew Klingle T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Survey of the making of North America from initial contact between Europeans and Africans and Native Americans to the creation of the continent's three largest nations by the mid-nineteenth century: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Topics include the history of Native populations before and after contact; geopolitical and imperial rivalries that propelled European conquests of the Americas; evolution of free and coerced labor systems; environmental transformations of the continent's diverse landscapes and peoples; formation of colonial settler societies; and the emergence of distinct national identities and cultures in former European colonies. Students write several papers and engage in weekly discussion based upon primary and secondary documents, art, literature, and material culture.

252. Colonial Latin America
Allen Wells T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Introduces students to the history of Latin America from pre-Columbian times to about 1825. Traces developments fundamental to the establishment of colonial rule, drawing out regional comparisons of indigenous resistance and accommodation. Topics include the nature of indigenous societies encountered by Europeans; exploitation of African and Indian labor; evangelization and the role of the church; the evolution of race, gender, and class hierarchies in colonial society; and the origins of independence in Spanish America and Brazil. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

261. The Making of Modern India
Rachel Sturman M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Traces the history of India from the rise of British imperial power in the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Topics include the formation of a colonial economy and society; religious and social reform; the emergence of anti-colonial nationalism; the road to independence and partition; and issues of secularism, religious fundamentalisms, democracy, and inequality that have shaped post-colonial Indian society.

265. Magadishu to Madagascar: East African History
David Gordon M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Examines the history of East Africa with a special focus on the interactions between east Africans and the Indian Ocean World. The course begins with African societies prior to Portuguese conquest, continues through Omani colonialism, and the spread of slavery across East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar and Mauritius. The onset of British, Italian, and German colonialism, rebellions against colonialism including Mau Mau in Kenya, and post-colonial conflicts including the Zanzibar revolution of 1964. The course ends with the rise of post-colonial Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Somalia, and challenges to their sovereignty by present-day Indian Ocean rebels, such as the Somali pirates.

268. Asian American History, 1850-Present
Connie Chiang M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Surveys the history of Asian Americans from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Explores the changing experiences of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans within the larger context of American history. Major topics include immigration and migration, race relations, anti-Asian movements, labor issues, gender relations, family and community formation, resistance and civil rights, and representations of Asian Americans in American popular culture. Readings and course materials include scholarly essays and books, primary documents, novels, memoirs, and films.

271. Black Women in Atlantic New Orleans
Jessica Johnson T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina turned a national spotlight on the politics of race, sex, property and power in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. But for centuries, New Orleans has made and remade itself at the intersection of history and memory, slavery and freedom. Women of African descent have been central to this process. This course explores the multi-layered and multi-valent history and culture of New Orleans as a site for Afro-Atlantic women's religious and political culture, resistance, and transnational interaction. The course will consider New Orleans historic connections to Senegal, France, Haiti, and Cuba and the way slavery, the slave trade and resistance to both created complicated global connections even within the city. The course will also explore the city's Afro-creole expressive and material culture, and how it emerged, and the ways it complicated and confounded neat racial and gender categories of the Atlantic world. Course material includes primary sources from the archives of the city, multimedia material, books and articles.

272. Warlords and Child Soldiers in African History
David Gordon T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Seminar. Examines how gender, masculinity, age, religion, and race have informed ideologies of violence by considering various historical incarnations of the African warrior across time, including the hunter, the tribal warrior, the anti-colonial guerilla, the revolutionary, the white mercenary, the soldier, the warlord, the holy warrior, and the child soldier. Focuses on how fighters, followers, African civilians, and the international community have imagined the “work of war” in Africa. Readings include scholarly analyses of warfare, warriors and warrior ideals alongside memoirs and fictional representations.

274. Painters, Philosophers, and Politicians: The Chinese Literati
Lawrence Zhang T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
Seminar. The Chinese literati was a crucial socio-political class that served as China's ruling elite throughout its imperial history. Their importance also extended to cultural and philosophical realms. This course studies a crucial class in the history of China, and examines how the Chinese social structure during the imperial period was organized with the literati resting on the top of the pyramid. Through reading primary documents written by many prominent literati, students can learn about the different modes of political, philosophical, and cultural dominance as expressed by one group. Among topics discussed will be state-society relations, philosophical discourses, and cultural production through an examination of primary and secondary materials.

276. China: Prehistory to 1550
Lawrence Zhang T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Covers the history of China from the Neolithic age to 1550. It examines the origins and growth of the Chinese civilization. Major topics examined include but not limited to the foundation of classical Chinese philosophy, origin and growth of the imperial order, changing nature of sociopolitical elites, and the role of foreign influences on Chinese politics and culture. In addition to lectures the course will make ample use of primary texts as a basis for discussion.

283. The Origins of Japanese Culture and Civilization
Thomas Conlan T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
How do a culture, a state, and a society develop? Designed to introduce the culture and history of Japan by exploring how “Japan” came into existence, and to chart how patterns of Japanese civilization shifted through time. Attempts to reconstruct the tenor of life through translations of primary sources, and to lead to a greater appreciation of the unique and lasting cultural and political monuments of Japanese civilization. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

311. Experiments in Totalitariansim: Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia
Kimberly Herrlinger W  1:00 - 3:55
Compares and contrasts the nature of society and culture under two of the twentieth century’s most “totalitarian” regimes—fascism under the Nazis in Germany, and socialism under the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union. Prior course work in either modern Germany or Russia is strongly recommended, and students may focus their research project on either country, or a comparison of both.

330. The United States Home Front in World War II
Connie Chiang M  10:00 - 11:25
W  10:00 - 11:25
Examines social and cultural changes on the United States home front during World War II. While some Americans remember World War II as "the good war," an examination of this period reveals a more complicated history. By analyzing a variety of historical sources--scholarly writings, government documents and propaganda, films, memoirs, fiction, and advertising--this course investigates how the war shaped and reshaped sexuality, family dynamics, and gender roles; race and ethnic relations; labor conflicts; social reform, civil rights, and citizenship; and popular culture. The course will also consider the war’s impact on the immediate postwar years and how Americans have remembered the war. Students write a major paper based on primary source research.

351. The Mexican Revolution
Allen Wells TH 1:00 - 3:55
An examination of the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) and its impact on modern Mexican society. Topics include the role of state formation since the revolution, agrarian reform, United States-Mexican relations, immigration, and other border issues.