Location: Bowdoin / History / courses / Fall 2011


Fall 2011

011. Memoirs and Memory in American History
Connie Chiang T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the ways in which Americans have remembered the past and documented their experiences in individual memoirs. Considers the tensions between memory and history, the value of memoirs as historical documents, and the extent to which memories deepen, complicate, and even convolute our understanding of the American past. Introduces many central themes in twentieth-century American history such as immigration, gender, race relations, and war. Writing-intensive, including several short papers and a family history research paper.

014. Science and Society
David Hecht M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Focuses on twentieth-century science, technology, and medicine. Uses a number of seminal events and ideas - such as evolution, nuclear weapons, environmentalism, genetics, climate change and public health - to examine changing meanings of "science." Science is neither as objective nor as detached from society as is commonly assumed, and this course examines the nature of its interaction with broader themes and events in twentieth-century American politics and culture.

018. The Consumer Revolution in the Atlantic World
Meghan Roberts M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Examines the social, cultural, and political dimensions of consumerism in early modern Europe and the Atlantic world. During the eighteenth century, ordinary individuals engaged in a buying frenzy to decorate their homes and their persons in ever more ornate fashions. Considers how material culture provides a lens through which we can view the connections between empire and metropole in the early modern world; how it produced and reflected changing gender norms; how the growth of European consumerism was supported by slave labor; and how all of the above shaped and was shaped by the political revolutions of the late eighteenth century.

022. "Bad" Women Make Great History: Gender, Identity, and Society in Modern Europe, 1789-1945
Page Herrlinger T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Focuses on the lives and works of path-breaking women who defied the norms of modern European society in order to assume extraordinary and often controversial identities in a range of fields - as writers, scientists, performers, athletes, soldiers, and social and political activists. What does each woman's "deviance"reveal about cultural constructions of identity and the self in Modern Europe? About contemporary views on issues such as women's work, gender relations, education, marriage, sexuality, motherhood, health, and the struggle for civil and political rights? And when studied together, what do these women's experiences tell us about patterns of change and continuity with respect to definitions of masculinity vs. femininity, the public vs. private sphere, and the relationship of the individual to the modern state?

110. Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Europe
Dallas Denery T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
A wide-ranging survey of pre-modern European history, beginning with the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 272 - 337) and concluding with the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Particular attention is paid to the relation between church and state, the birth of urban culture and economy, institutional and popular religious movements, and the early formation of nation states.

142. The United States since 1945
Daniel Levine T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Consideration of social, intellectual, political, and international history. Topics include the Cold War; the survival of the New Deal; the changing role of organized labor; Keynesian, post-Keynesian, or anti-Keynesian economic policies; and the urban crisis. Readings common to the whole class and the opportunity for each student to read more deeply in a topic of his or her own choice.

201. History of Ancient Greece: Bronze Age to the Death of Alexander
Stephen O'Connor T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
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. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

211. Holocaust: History and Historiography
Susan Tananbaum M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Explores several topics in the history of the Holocaust. Considers the European context and Jewish life in Europe on the eve of World War II. In particular, reviews historical debates in order to understand differing interpretations of the past. Topics include anti-Semitism, responses of surrounding populations, Jewish leadership, resistance, and the role of the Church.

213. Transnational Africa and Globalization
Olufemi Vaughan M 1:00 - 3:55
Seminar. Drawing on key readings on the historical sociology of transnationalism since World War II, examines how postcolonial African migrations transformed African states and their new transnational populations in Western countries. Discusses what concepts such as the nation state, communal identity, global relations, and security mean in the African context to critically explore complex African transnational experiences and globalization. These dynamic African transnational encounters encourage discussions on homeland and diaspora, tradition and modernity, gender and generation.

218. The History of Russia, 1725-1924
Kimberly Herrlinger T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Explores Russian society, culture, and politics during three dramatically different phases of the modern period: the Old Regime under the Tsars in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the violent, revolutionary transformations of 1905 and 1917; and the founding years of socialist rule under Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Readings are drawn from a diverse range of primary sources (including petitions, letters, memoirs, official proclamations, ethnographic accounts) as well as secondary works written by leading scholars. Also draws widely on contemporary visual culture (including but not limited to painting, photography, and film).

224. The Modern Middle East: The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Susan Tananbaum T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
A historical overview of the Middle East during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focuses on the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire; the role of Islam; British rule in the region; Palestine, Jewish, and Arab nationalism; the intifada; and ends with a brief review of contemporary issues.

232. History of the American West
Connie Chiang T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Survey of what came to be called the Western United States from the nineteenth century to the present. Topics include Euro-American relations with Native Americans; the expansion and growth of the federal government into the West; the exploitation of natural resources; the creation of borders and national identities; race, class, and gender relations; the influence of immigration and emigration; violence and criminality; cities and suburbs; and the enduring persistence of the "frontier" myth in American culture. Students write several papers and engage in weekly discussion based upon primary and secondary documents, art, literature, and film.

241. From Gandhi to the Taliban: Secularism and Its Critics in Modern South Asia
Rachel Sturman M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Explores modern socio-political movements in India and Pakistan that have sought to redefine the relationship between religion and the state. Issues considered include: the meanings of secularism, the ethical claims of modern states, the development of violence and non-violence as political programs, and the historical impacts of these diverse movements.

243. Old Regime and Revolutionary France
Meghan Roberts M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, many heralded King Louis XIV as the most powerful monarch to ever rule. By the end of the century, however, the French people overthrew this vaunted monarchy. Topics include: why did France have a revolution? What conflicts--social, cultural and intellectual--helped shape politics and society? What were the global implications of events in France, especially for the enslaved populations of French colonies? How did the Revolution impact everyday life, including social relationships and material culture? Why did the French Revolution become radical and--all too often--violent?

255. Modern Latin America
Allen Wells T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
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 T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
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.

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.

273. The History of Latinos in the United States
Lori Flores M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
A survey of the social, political, and cultural history of Latinos, the fastest-growing population in the United States, from 1848 to the present. Readings and films focus on the experiences of Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, and Central American communities as separate groups and living amongst each other. Key course topics include legacies of conquest; past and present immigration; inclusion and exclusion; labor movements and activism; articulations of race, gender, and citizenship in urban and rural settings; transnationalism; the development of Latino politics; border violence; and Latino futurism. This course aims to both show the particularities of the Latino experience in the United States and position Latinos as integral figures to more inclusive and revised narratives of the nation's past.

274. The Shot Heard 'Round the World: The History of the American Revolution
Strother Roberts M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
For those who lived through it, the American Revolution was a very personal experience. It pitted neighbors against neighbors, tore local communities apart, and destroyed families. It ruined livelihoods and ended lives. But the Revolution was also a global phenomenon. Its ideological origins lay in ancient Greece and Rome. Its economic causes stretched around the globe to the tea plantations of China. It spawned battles fought from the icy tundra of the subarctic to the tropical waters of the Caribbean. Its ideals and values have inspired generations from around the globe. Only by studying the complexity of the Revolution, by placing the local experiences of newly-minted Americans within the global backdrop of their times, can this formative stage of United States history be fully understood.

279. Martin, Malcolm, and America
Brian Purnell T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the life and thought of Martin L. King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Our main goals are to trace the development in their thinking, and to examine the similarities and differences between them. We also seek to evaluate their contribution to the African-American freedom struggle, American society, and the world. Our method of study will emphasize the very close reading of the primary and secondary material; the use of audio and videocassettes; lecture presentations and class discussions. But it is important to note that we are not simply interested in the academic study of these two men's political and religious commitment; we are also concerned with how they inform our own political and social lives.

282. India and the Indian Ocean World
Rachel Sturman M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
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.

307. Topics in Medieval and Early Modern European History
Dallas Denery T 1:00 - 3:55
A research seminar for majors and interested non-majors focusing on Medieval and Early Modern Europe. After an overview of recent trends in the historical analysis of this period, students pursue research topics of their own choice, culminating in a significant piece of original historical writing (approximately 30 pages in length)

332. Community in America, Maine, and at Bowdoin
Sarah McMahon T 1:00 - 3:55
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.

354. The Maya: Challenges of Forging Community and Identity
Allen Wells T 6:30 - 9:25
Examines the historical and contemporary Maya from pre-Columbian times to the present with special attention paid to the Maya of Guatemala and the Yucatán peninsula. Uses a variety of primary and secondary materials, including Spanish chronicles, Maya testimonies, travelers' accounts, scholarly monographs, ethnographies, and films. Topics include the importance of family, community, and spirituality; resistance and adaptation to external threat and conquest; the challenges of acculturation; and the importance of the environment in shaping material life.