Location: Bowdoin / History / courses / Fall 2009


Fall 2009

010. Monsters, Marvels, and Messiahs: Europe during the Age of Discovery
Dallas Denery M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Hubbard-22
Examines how Europeans have sought to understand themselves and the world around them through travel and travel literature. Particular attention paid to the fascinating ways in which Europeans have used travel narratives to define and distinguish themselves from their “others.” Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

015. Frontier Crossings: The Western Experience in American History
Matthew Klingle M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-103
What accounts for the persistence of the “frontier myth” in American history, and why do Americans continue to find the idea so attractive? Explores the creation of and disputes over what became of the western United States from 1763 to the present. Topics include Euro-American relations with Native Americans; the creation of borders and national identities; the effect of nature and ideology; the role of labor and gender in the backcountry; and the enduring influence of frontier imagery in popular culture.

023. Writing the Racial Mountain in the Age of Jim Crow
Keona Ervin T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Mass-Faculty Room
What did it mean to be black in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? What sources did prominent African American leaders in this period draw upon to understand meanings of the racialized self? Explores arguments about and controversies over "the strange meaning of being black" from the post-Reconstruction period to the Great Depression. Focuses on intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class.

028. The History of Tea in East Asia
Lawrence Zhang T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-114
Tea is one of the world’s most consumed beverages, as well as a significant internationally traded commodity throughout history. Familiarizes the student with the history of tea in East Asia since 800 C.E. to the present. Topics include its modes of consumption and production, trade, aesthetic, as well as notions of tradition and the beverage’s changing role in the twenty-first century. Primary and secondary sources include translated Chinese and Japanese texts on tea. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

139. The Civil War Era
Patrick Rael T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Cleaveland-151
Examines the coming of the Civil War and the war itself in all its aspects. Considers the impact of changes in American society, the sectional crisis and breakdown of the party system, the practice of Civil War warfare, and social ramifications of the conflict. Includes readings of novels and viewing of films. Students are expected to enter with a basic knowledge of American history, and a commitment to participating in large class discussions.

201. History of Ancient Greece: Bronze Age to the Death of Alexander
Robert Sobak M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Druckenmiller-020
Surveys the history of Greek-speaking peoples from the Bronze Age (c. 3000–1100 B.C.E.) to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E. Traces the political, economic, social, religious, and cultural developments of the Greeks in the broader context of the Mediterranean world. Topics include the institution of the polis (city-state); hoplite warfare; Greek colonization; the origins of Greek “science,” philosophy, and rhetoric; and fifth-century Athenian democracy and imperialism. Necessarily focuses on Athens and Sparta, but attention is also given to the variety of social and political structures found in different Greek communities. Special attention is given to examining and attempting to understand the distinctively Greek outlook in regard to gender, the relationship between human and divine, freedom, and the divisions between Greeks and barbarians (non-Greeks). A variety of sources—literary, epigraphical, archaeological—are presented, and students learn how to use them as historical documents.

206. Early Modern Europe
Dallas Denery M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25 Adams-208
A survey of European culture and society from the later Middle Ages to the origins of the Enlightenment. Topics include the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

216. History of African and African Diasporic Political Thought
Olufemi Vaughan M 1:00 - 3:55 Druckenmiller-024
Seminar. Will critically discuss some seminal works in African diaspora and African political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Organized around global and national currents that will allow students to explore intersections in pan-African, African American, and African political thought in the context of Atlantic and global histories. Seminar topics are divided into three major historic moments. The first will explore major themes on Atlantic slavery and Western thought, notably slavery and racial representation; slavery and capitalism; slavery and democracy. The second will focus on the struggle of African Americans, Africans, and West Indians for freedom in post-Abolition and colonial contexts. Topics discussed within twentieth-century national, regional, and global currents include reconstruction and industrialization; pan-Africanism; new negro; negritude; colonialism; nationalism. Finally, explores pan-African and African encounters in the context of dominant postcolonial themes, namely decolonization; Cold War; state formation; imperialism; African diaspora feminist thought; globalism. Discusses these foundational texts and the political thoughts of major African, African American, and Caribbean intellectuals and activists in their appropriate historical context.

221. History of England, 1485-1688
Susan Tananbaum T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Searles-213
A survey of the political, cultural, religious, social, and economic history of early modern England, from the reign of Henry VII, the first Tudor ruler, to the outbreak of the Glorious Revolution. Topics include the Tudor and Stuart Monarchs, the Elizabethan Settlement, the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, and the Restoration. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

222. Family Affairs: Changing Patterns in Europe
Susan Tananbaum M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 CT-16 Whiteside Room
Seminar. Explores topics and debates in European family history from the early modern period to the present. Considers the impact of social, political, religious, and economic forces on family structures and functions. Students have an opportunity to complete individual research projects.

229. Science, Sex, and Politics
David Hecht T 6:30 - 9:25 Mass-Faculty Room
Seminar. Examines the intersection of science, sex, and politics in twentieth-century United States history. Issues of sex and sexuality have been contested terrain over the past hundred years, as varying conceptions of gender, morality, and “proper” sexual behavior have become politically and socially controversial. Explores the way that science has impacted these debates—often as a tool by which activists of varying political and intellectual persuasions have attempted to use notions of scientific objectivity and authority to advance their agendas. Explores debates over issues such as birth control, sex education, same-sex marriage, and abortion.

241. Violence and Non-violence in Twentieth-Century India
Rachel Sturman M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-209
Seminar. Examines the histories of violence and non-violence that have shaped contemporary India. Considers Gandhi’s efforts to develop a theory and practice of non-violence in the context of anti-colonial nationalism, as well as the epic religious violence that ultimately accompanied independence from British colonial rule. Explores the historical relationship between violent and non-violent forms of social protest and social control in the post-colonial era through examination of vivid examples of social and political movements. Considers the recent proliferation of religious violence, and caste- and gender-based atrocities. Draws on history, literature, documentary film, and film drama to consider how such violence and non-violence have been remembered and memorialized, and their legacies for Indian society.

248. Family and Community in American History, 1600–1900
Sarah McMahon M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-109
Examines the social, economic, and cultural history of American families from 1600 to 1900, and the changing relationship between families and their kinship networks, communities, and the larger society. Topics include gender relationships; racial, ethnic, cultural, and class variations in family and community ideals, structures, and functions; the purpose and expectations of marriage; philosophies of child-rearing; organization of work and leisure time; and the effects of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and social and geographic mobility on patterns of family life and community organization.

253. The United States and Latin America: Tempestuous Neighbors
Allen Wells T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Edward Pols House-Conf Room
Seminar. Examines scholarship on the evolution of United States-Latin American relations since Independence. Topics include the Monroe Doctrine, commercial relations, interventionism, Pan Americanism, immigration, and revolutionary movements during the Cold War.

255. Modern Latin America
Allen Wells T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Sills-109
Traces the principal economic, social, and political transformations from the wars of independence to the present. Topics include colonial legacies and the aftermath of independence; the consolidation of nation-states and their insertion in the world economy; the evolution of land and labor systems, and the politics of reform and revolution, and the emergence of social movements.

262. Africa and the Atlantic World, 1400-1880
David Gordon M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Kanbar Hall-107
A survey of historical developments before conquest by European powers, with a focus on west and central Africa. Explores the political, social, and cultural changes that accompanied the intensification of Atlantic Ocean trade and revolves around a controversy in the study of Africa and the Atlantic World: What influence did Africans have on the making of the Atlantic World, and in what ways did Africans participate in the slave trade? How were African identities shaped by the Atlantic World and by the slave plantations of the Americas? Ends by considering the contradictory effects of Abolition on Africa. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

269. After Apartheid: South African History and Historiography
David Gordon T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Seminar. Investigates the diverse representations and uses of the past in South Africa. Begins with the difficulties in developing a critical and conciliatory version of the past in post-apartheid South Africa during and after the much-discussed Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Then turns to diverse historical episodes and sites of memory from the Great Trek to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela to explore issues of identity and memory from the perspectives of South Africa’s various peoples.

270. Atlantic Antislavery
Patrick Rael M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 The Hazelton Room (Kanbar 109)
Seminar. The slavery that emerged with the expansion of European powers in the New World was historically unique—a form more exploitative and capitalistic than any seen before. Paradoxically, it was this same Atlantic world that bred the ideas of universal human liberty that led to slavery’s demise. Explores this conundrum and examines the movements in the Atlantic world dedicated to abolishing slavery in the Atlantic basin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Considers the foundations of antislavery thought, the abolition of the slave trade, the relationship between capitalism and abolitionism, the role of African American protest, the emergence of immediatism in America, the progress of Atlantic emancipations, and the historical memory of antislavery. Intensive engagement with historical arguments on this topic.

275. The Making of Modern China
Karen May Teoh M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-107
An introduction to the transformation of China’s political and social life from the advent of its last dynasty in 1644 to the present. Covers the rise and fall of the Qing dynasty, economic and cultural encounters with the West, Republican government, war with Japan, the Communist revolution, and the People’s Republic under Mao Zedong. Also discusses social and economic reforms in post-Mao China, and the global Chinese overseas community. Major themes include political and intellectual trends, the ongoing tension between the center and local society, problems of ethnicity and gender, challenges of modernization, and the (re-)emergence of the world’s oldest and largest bureaucratic state as a major power in the twenty-first century.

276. The Origins of Imperial China, Prehistory to 900 C.E.
Lawrence Zhang T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-205
Traces the origins and evolution of cultural, economic, and social elements of Chinese imperial statehood. Considers how each successive regime created its own philosophical and political basis for legitimacy and authority. Topics covered include the flowering of philosophy in the fifth century B.C.E., the unification and subsequent disintegration of the Qin and Han empires, the introduction of Buddhism, and the rise and fall of the cosmopolitan Tang dynasty. Various types of evidence, including archaeological finds and material culture, will be examined. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

277. Trials of the Twentieth Century
David Hecht M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-117
Uses controversial legal cases to explore changing notions of justice, rights, and equality in twentieth-century America—and the role of media in providing a forum for cultural debate on these and other subjects. Focuses on issues of race, class, science, Cold War politics, activism, and social change. Trials discussed include Sacco & Vanzetti, the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Rosenberg spy case, Roe v. Wade, Watergate, and O. J. Simpson. Uses a variety of primary and secondary sources, such as trial transcripts, news coverage, memoirs, film, and literature.

282. India and the Indian Ocean World
Rachel Sturman M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-202
Explores the vibrant social world created by movements of people, commodities, and ideas across the contemporary regions of the Middle East, East Africa, South and Southeast Asia from the early spread of Islam through the eighteenth century. Key topics include the formation of communities, pre-modern material cultures, the meanings of conversion and religious change, and the production and transformation of systems of knowledge and modes of social relations in the era before the rise of European colonialism. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

283. The Origins of Japanese Culture and Civilization
Thomas Conlan T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Sills-207
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.

286. Japan and the World
Thomas Conlan M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-114
Seminar. Explores Japan’s relations with China, Korea, and Europe in premodern and modern contexts. Also explores larger issues of state identity and cultures in East Asia. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

332. Community in America, 1600-1900
Sarah McMahon T 1:00 - 3:55 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Explores the ideals and the social, economic, and cultural realities of community in American history, focusing on change, continuity, and racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity in community experience from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Examines the formation of new communities on a “frontier” that began on the Atlantic seaboard and gradually moved westward across the continent; the attempts to create alternative communities either separate from or contained within established communities; and the changing face of community that accompanied cultural diversity, expansion, modernization, urbanization, and suburbanization.