Location: Bowdoin / History / courses / Spring 2010


Spring 2010

014. The Nuclear Age
David Hecht M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Explores the impact of nuclear weapons on American society, politics, and culture. Few aspects of post-World War II United States history were unaffected by the atomic bomb, which decisively shaped the Cold War, helped define the military-industrial complex, and contributed to profound changes in the place of science in American life. Examines the surprisingly varied effects of nuclear weapons and energy throughout American society: on Cold War and post-Cold War diplomacy, consumer culture, domestic politics, education, industry, the environment, family life, and the arts. Uses a wide range of sources—newspaper articles, interviews, memoirs, fiction, film, and policy debates—to examine the profound effects of nuclear weapons and energy in United States history.

019. Bad Girls of the 1950s
Jennifer Scanlon M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Boody-Johnson House Seminar Room
Explores the representation and life experiences of women who did not fi t the cultural norm of suburban motherhood in 1950s America. Focuses on issues of class, race, sexuality, and gender in a decade shaped by fears about nuclear war and communism, and by social and political conformity. Topics include teenage pregnancy, women’s grassroots political leadership, single womanhood, civil rights, emergent feminism, and, fi nally, the enduring cultural resonance of the apron-clad 1950s mom. Engages a variety of primary and secondary sources.

025. The Civil War in Film
Patrick Rael M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
HL-311 (third floor)
Explores the American Civil War through an examination of popular films dedicated to the topic. Students analyze films as a representation of the past, considering not simply their historical subject matter, but also the cultural and political contexts in which they are made. Films include The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, Glory, and Cold Mountain. Weekly evening film screenings.

203. Christianity and Islam in West Africa
Olufemi Vaughan T  1:00 - 3:55 Mass-McKeen Study
Seminar. Explores how Christianity, Islam, and indigenous religious beliefs shaped the formation of modern West African states and societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discusses the role of these world and indigenous religious institutions and movements in the transformation of major West African societies in the following important historical themes: (1) religion and state formation in the turbulent nineteenth century; (2) religion and colonialism; (3) religion and decolonization; (4) religion and the post-colonial state; (5) religion and politics in the era of globalization. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

204. Science, Magic, and Religion
Dallas Denery M  8:00 - 9:25
W  8:00 - 9:25
Traces the origins of the scientific revolution through the interplay between late-antique and medieval religion, magic, and natural philosophy. Particular attention is paid to the conflict between paganism and Christianity, the meaning and function of religious miracles, the rise and persecution of witchcraft, and Renaissance hermeticism. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

210. On the Origins of Modernity
Dallas Denery M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
The Hazelton Room (Kanbar 109)
Seminar. Examines Europe's transition from a pre-modern to an early modern society during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Beginning with an analysis of "secularization" as a historical process, examines the extent to which the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the development of mercantile capitalism contributed to the undoing of traditional social, cultural, and religious structures. Readings will include an array of primary sources, as well as works by Ernst Troeltsh, Hans Blumenberg, and Charles Taylor. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

212. "China among Equals": History from Song to Ming, 950-1644
Lawrence Zhang T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Covers the period from the fall of the Tang dynasty to the end of the Ming, during which China underwent a critical and fundamental transformation from a society dominated by a national aristocratic elite with hereditary rights to one where elites membership became much more fluid. The emergence of competing neighboring states also meant a complete reorientation of how China conducted diplomacy, both with other land-based states and eventually through maritime contacts with Zheng He’s expeditions to the West. Neo-Confucianism, developed during the Song dynasty, became not only the dominant philosophy in China but also in East Asia for the next thousand years. This comprehensive survey of China during the medieval and early modern eras includes sub-units on the Mongol empire and other “conquest dynasties.” Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

213. Transnational Africa and Globalization
Olufemi Vaughan M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 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.

220. History of the Holocaust
Susan Tananbaum T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Hubbard-Conference Room West
An analysis of the persistence of anti-Jewish attitudes through history, with an emphasis on the Hitler regime’s attempt to destroy European Jews and their culture. Begins with a brief overview of the Greco-Roman world and Medieval Europe, and concludes with an examination of the cultural phenomenon of anti-Semitism and the destruction of European Jewry. Readings focus on primary texts and secondary analysis. Students have the opportunity to develop individual research projects.

227. City and Landscape in Modern Europe
Jill Pearlman T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Explores the evolution of the built environment in London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Focusing on significant moments in the history of these cities, considers a variety of factors as determinants of urban form, including technological developments, industrialization, politics, economics, culture and design. Topics include the creation of capital cities, natural and public spaces, streets, housing, suburbanization, environmental problems, and current schemes for a sustainable urbanism.

230. Evolution in America
David Hecht M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55 B
Explores the history and politics of evolution in the United States since Darwin. Evolution has been central to American politics and culture in myriad ways. Examines explicit controversies, such as the Scopes Trial of 1925 and more recent debates over intelligent design, as well as the many ways that it has implicitly but profoundly influenced American culture, most notably in connection with lending credence to ideas of “natural” or “normal” in terms of human behavior, racial classification, or gender and sexual norms. Also explores changing ideas of evolution, in both scientific investigation and popular culture.

231. Social History of Colonial America, 1607–1763
Sarah McMahon T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
A social history of the founding and growth of the colonies in British North America. Explores the difficulties of creating a new society, economy, polity, and culture in an unfamiliar and already inhabited environment; the effects of diverse and often conflicting goals and expectations on the early settlement and development of the colonies; the gradual adaptations and changes in European, Native American, and African cultures, and their separate, combined, and often contested contributions to a new “provincial,” increasingly stratified (both socially and economically), and regionally disparate culture; and the later problems of maturity and stability as the thirteen colonies began to outgrow the British imperial system and become a new “American” society. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

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.

236. The History of African Americans, 1619-1865
Patrick Rael T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the history of African Americans from the origins of slavery in America through the death of slavery during the Civil War. Explores a wide range of topics, including the establishment of slavery in colonial America, the emergence of plantation society, control and resistance on the plantation, the culture and family structure of enslaved African Americans, free black communities, and the coming of the Civil War and the death of slavery.

242. Environment and Culture in North American History
Matthew Klingle M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Explores relationships between ideas of nature, human transformations of the environment, and the effect of the physical environment upon humans through time in North America. Topics include the “Columbian exchange” and colonialism; links between ecological change and race, class, and gender relations; the role of science and technology; literary and artistic perspectives of “nature”; agriculture, industrialization, and urbanization; and the rise of modern environmentalism. Assignments include a research-based service learning term project.

243. History of Black Sexual Politics
Keona Ervin M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Chase Barn Chamber
Explores how gender and sexuality function within African American communities in the United States using historical and contemporary case studies. Examines connections between constructions of Black femininity and masculinity, racial identity formation and social inequality against the backdrop of slavery and emancipation, segregation, the Great Depression and World War II, the black freedom struggle, and what many have called the post-civil rights era. Materials include interdisciplinary scholarly texts and articles, films, novels, and music.

249. History of Women's Voices in America
Sarah McMahon M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
CT-16 Harrison McCann
Seminar. Examines women’s voices in America from 1650 to the twentieth century, as these emerged in private letters, journals, and autobiographies; poetry, short stories, and novels; essays, addresses, and prescriptive literature. Readings from the secondary literature provide a historical framework for examining women’s writings. Research projects focus on the form and content of women’s literature and the ways that it illuminates women’s understandings, reactions, and responses to their historical situation.

258. Latin American Revolutions
Allen Wells T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Examines revolutionary change in Latin America from a historical perspective, concentrating on four cases of attempted revolutionary change—Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Popular images and orthodox interpretations are challenged and new propositions about these processes are tested. External and internal dimensions of each of these social movements are analyzed and each revolution is discussed in the full context of the country’s historical development.

259. Sex and the Politics of the Body in India
Rachel Sturman M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Seminar. Examines the politics of sexuality as well as other forms of ascribed bodily difference (e.g. caste, gender, religion) in shaping social and political life in modern India from the nineteenth century to the present day. Topics include: modern conjugality; histories of prostitution; love and intimate life; the emergence of a contemporary lesbian/gay/queer movement; the sexual forms of caste and religious violence.

263. Politics and Popular Culture in Twentieth-Century India
Rachel Sturman M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Examines the new forms of politics and of popular culture that shaped twentieth-century modernity in India. Topics include the emergence of mass politics, ideologies of nationalism and communalism, urbanization and the creation of new publics, violence and popular media, modern visual culture, democracy and social movements, and the politics of development. Focuses on the relationship between new socio-political forms and new technologies of representation and communication.

264. Conquest, Colonialism, and Independence: Africa since 1880
David Gordon T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
Kanbar Hall-107
Focuses on conquest, colonialism, and its legacies in sub-Saharan Africa; the violent process of colonial pacification, examined from European and African perspectives; the different ways of consolidating colonial rule and African resistance to colonial rule, from Maji Maji to Mau Mau; and African nationalism and independence, as experienced by Africa’s nationalist leaders, from Kwame Nkrumah to Jomo Kenyatta, and their critics. Concludes with the limits of independence, mass disenchantment, the rise of the predatory post-colonial state, genocide in the Great Lakes, and the wars of Central Africa.

271. The Global Migration of the Overseas Chinese
Karen May Teoh M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
The Hazelton Room (Kanbar 109)
Seminar. Explores the history of Chinese migration in its global context from the sixteenth century onwards. Examines the internal roots of emigration in China, the interactions of migrants with their host societies and local populations, processes of cultural adaptation and assimilation, and the significance of migration and the overseas Chinese for concepts of Chinese identity. Focuses on Southeast Asia and North America, but also looks at Western Europe, South America, and elsewhere. While studying the implications of Chinese migration in specific locations, attends to transnational or cross-border networks, and interrogates concepts of ethnicity, nationality, and diaspora.

273. Black Women and Slavery in Diasporic Perspective
Jessica Johnson M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Examines the history of women of African descent during the second period of slavery and slave trading between Africa, the Caribbean, and mainland North America (roughly 1650 to 1888). Focuses on the everyday experiences of women's labor, reproduction, and kinship-building on the plantations and in the cities, of these slaveholding societies and on women's roles in the (re)creation of Afro-Atlantic religious and political culture. Investigates the participation of women in abolition and emancipation movements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A range of issues addressed: How did women of African descent experience life under slavery in contrast to men or women of European, Amerinidan, and East Indian descent? How did the lives of enslaved women differ from free women of color in different slave holding societies of the Atlantic world? How did the experience of migration, forced and voluntary, impact the lives of black women and the growth of black societies across the Atlantic African diaspora? Assignments include work by contemporary historians and literary figures, primary source analysis, and student projects on the representation and presentation of women and slavery.

279. Rebellions and Revolutions in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century China
Lawrence Zhang T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
CT-16 Whiteside Room
Seminar. Mass uprisings have been political and social crucibles throughout the history of China, causing not only “regime changes,” as slated in contemporary terms, but also radical shifts in the cultural dynamics of Chinese society, as evident in class hierarchy, distribution of material resources, and expressions of personal and collective rights. Explores several of these pivotal moments, including millenarian movements such as the Taiping Rebellion in the Chinese heartland and the Muslim holy wars in the western borderlands during the nineteenth century; political transitions such as the 1911 Republican Revolution and the 1949 Communist Revolution; and movements introducing new social and cultural norms such as the May Fourth Movement and the Cultural Revolution Students revisit the question of how the concepts of “rebellion” and “revolution” are simultaneously similar and different. One course in Asian history is recommended.

284. The Emergence of Modern Japan
Thomas Conlan T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
VAC-Beam Classroom
What constitutes a modern state? How durable are cultures and civilizations? Examines the patterns of culture in a state that managed to expel European missionaries in the seventeenth century, and came to embrace all things Western as being “civilized” in the mid-nineteenth century. Compares the unique and vibrant culture of Tokugawa Japan with the rapid program of late-nineteenth-century industrialization, which resulted in imperialism, international wars, and ultimately, the post-war recovery.

285. Conquests and Heroes
Thomas Conlan M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Mass-Faculty Room
Seminar. Examines the experience of war in China, Japan, and Europe in order to ascertain the degree to which war is a culturally specific act. Explores narratives of battle and investigates “heroic” qualities of European, Chinese, and Japanese figures. A secondary theme constitutes an examination of the impact the thirteenth-century Mongol Invasions had on each of these military cultures. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

322. Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in British and European Society
Susan Tananbaum W  1:00 - 3:55 Sills-Peucinian Room
An analysis of cultural traditions in Britain and Europe. Explores the impact of immigration on Britain and the Continent, notions of cultural pluralism, and the changing definitions and implications of gender in Britain and Europe from the late eighteenth century to the present. Students undertake a major research project utilizing primary sources.

349. The Americas as Crossroads: Transnational Histories
Allen Wells W  9:30 - 12:25 Edward Pols House-Conf Room
An examination of the transnational history of North and South America over the past five hundred years. Students explore this through readings on specific themes including exploration and imperial conquest, trade, migration, labor, warfare, and biological exchange, culminating in an original research paper, based on primary and secondary source research, to meet the requirements of their major.

356. The Cuban Revolution
Allen Wells TH 1:00 - 3:55 Hubbard-22
The Cuban Revolution recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Offers a retrospective of a Revolution entering “middle age” and its prospects for the future. Topics include United States-Cuban relations, economic and social justice versus political liberty, gender and race relations, and literature and film in a socialist society.

361. The Political Imagination in African History
David Gordon W  1:00 - 3:55 Professor's Office
Explores African conceptions of politics from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Themes covered include African ancestral traditions, political movements during European colonialism, ethnic politics, alternative forms of sovereignty, religion and power, and debates over democratization. Students are required to write an original research paper.