Location: Bowdoin / History / courses / Spring 2011


Spring 2011

016. From Montezuma to Bin Laden: Globalization and Its Critics
David Gordon T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the challenge that globalization and imperialism pose for the study of history. How do historians balance the perspectives of victors and victims in past and present processes of globalization? How important are non-European versions of the past that may contradict European Enlightenment historical ideas and ideals? Class discussions interrogate questions about globalization and imperialism raised by proponents and critics, ranging from the Spanish conquest of Mexico to the American conquest of Iraq.

110. Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Europe
Dallas Denery M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25
Introductory-level lecture. A wide-ranging introduction to 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 varying relations between church and state, the birth of urban culture and economy,institutional and popular religious movements, and the early formation of nation states. Not open to students who have credit for History 206 (Early Modern Europe) or 207 (Medieval Europe). Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

125. Entering Modernity: European Jewry
Susan Tananbaum M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Explores Jewish life through the lenses of history, religion, and ethnicity and examines the processes by which governments and sections of the Jewish community attempted to incorporate Jews and Judaism into European society. Surveys social and economic transformations of Jews, cultural challenges of modernity, varieties of modern Jewish religious expression, political ideologies, the Holocaust, establishment of Israel, and American Jewry through primary and secondary sources, lectures, films, and class discussions.

145. Racial and Ethnic Conflict in American Cities
Brian Purnell T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
American cities have been historic cauldrons of racial and ethnic conflict. Concentrates on urban violence in American cities since 1898, but will also cover moments of conflict during the early Republic and the nineteenth century. Examines the post-Reconstruction pogroms that overturned interracial democracy; the "Red Summer" and its historical memory; the ways race and ethnicity shaped urban residential space; the effects of immigration on urban political economy and society, and the conflicts over space, labor, and social relations that arose; and the waves of urban violence that spread across the country in the mid-1960s.

200. Creating the World: Genesis and Its Interpreters
Dallas Denery M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Examines the history of interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis from the earliest Jewish commentators to the controversies surrounding nineteenth-century evolutionary theory, concluding with an analysis of contemporary literal evangelical exegesis associated with groups like The Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis (who operate The Creation Museum). Specific topics include the relation between faith and reason, the medieval exegetical tradition and "Sacred Theory."

206. Immorality and Political Revolution in Ancient Rome
Michael Nerdahl M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Ancient historians of Rome felt that an odd and retrospectively predictable malaise infected the Roman Republic after the great victory over Hannibal and the forces of Carthage. Commonly, the historians relate a growing immorality stemming from a continued distancing from the traditional form of "Roman-ness." This corrupting immorality is used to explain the process through which the stolid Roman Republic collapses through Civil War and eventually transforms into a monarchy. Examines in detail the historical-literary context of these post-Punic War years. Analyzes both the narrative of Rome's transition from Republic to Principate and the events themselves to reveal what connection, if any, there is between how the ancients saw the Republic decline and the actual historical causes, and what lessons can be applied to the crises of the modern world, and America in particular.

215. The Making of Modern Europe, 1815-1914
Kimberly Herrlinger T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
A survey course on the "long"nineteenth century in Europe, from 1815 to the beginning of World War I. Central focus on the social, cultural, and political impact of the industrial revolution and the mass urbanization that accompanied it. As much as possible, explores the evolution of modern life and mass culture through primary sources, including novels, art, photographs, letters, autobiographies. And articles from the contemporary press (in translation).

217. The German Experience, 1918-1945
Kimberly Herrlinger T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Seminar. An in-depth inquiry into the troubled course of German history during the Weimar and Nazi periods. Among the topics explored are the impact of the Great War on culture and society in the 1920s; the rise of National Socialism; the role of race, class, and gender in the transformation of everyday life under Hitler; forms of persecution, collaboration, and resistance during the third Reich; Nazi war aims and the experience of war on the front and at "home," including the Holocaust.

226. The City as American History
Matthew Klingle M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Seminar. America is an urban nation today, yet Americans have had deeply ambivalent feelings toward the city over time. Explores the historical origins of that ambivalence by tracing several overarching themes in American urban history from the seventeenth century to the present. Topics include race and class relations, labor, design and planning, gender and sexual identity, immigration, politics and policy, scientific and technological systems, violence and crime, religion and sectarian disputes, and environmental protection. Discussions revolve around these broad themes, as well as regional distinctions between American cities. Students are required to write several short papers and one longer paper based upon primary and secondary sources.

237. The History of African Americans from 1865 to the Present
Patrick Rael T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Explores the history of African Americans from the end of the Civil War to the present. Issues include the promises and failures of Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, black leadership and protest institutions, African American cultural styles, industrialization and urbanization, the world wars, the Civil Rights Movement, and conservative retrenchment.

240. Only a Game? Sports and Leisure in Europe and America
Susan Tananbaum T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Uses the lens of sport and leisure to analyze cultural and historical trends in modern Europe and the United States. Students read a range of primary and secondary texts exploring race, class, and gender and complete a significant research paper.

242. Environment and Culture in North American History
Matthew Klingle M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
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.

244. City, Anti-City, Utopia: Building Urban America
Jill Pearlman M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Explores the evolution of the American city from the beginning of industrialization to the present age of mass communications. Focuses on the underlying explanations for the American city's physical form by examining cultural values, technological advancement, aesthetic theories, and social structure. Major figures, places, and schemes in the areas of urban design and architecture, social criticism, and reform are considered.

246. Women in American History, 1600-1900
Sarah McMahon T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
A social history of American women from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. Examines women's changing roles in both public and private spheres; the circumstances of women's lives as these were shaped by class, ethnic, and racial differences; the recurring conflict between the ideals of womanhood and the realities of women's experience; and focuses on family responsibilities, paid and unpaid work, religion, education, reform, women's rights, and feminism.

247. Maine: A Community and Environmental History
Sarah McMahon M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Examines the evolution of various Maine social and ecological communities"”inland, hill country, and coastal. Begins with the contact of European and Native American cultures, examines the transfer of English and European agricultural traditions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and explores the development of diverse geographic, economic, ethnic, and cultural communities during the nineteenth and into the early twentieth centuries.

250. California Dreamin': A History of the Golden State
Connie Chiang T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Seminar. Sunshine, beaches, shopping malls, and movie stars are the popular stereotypes of California, but social conflicts and environmental degradation have long tarnished the state's golden image. Unravels the myth of the California dream by examining the state's social and environmental history from the end of Mexican rule and the discovery of gold in 1848 to the 2003 election of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Major topics include immigration and racial violence; radical and conservative politics; extractive and high-tech industries; environmental disasters; urban, suburban, and rural divides; and California in American popular culture.

254. Contemporary Argentina
Allen Wells T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Texts, novels, and films help unravel Argentine history and culture. Topics examined include the image of the gaucho and national identity; the impact of immigration; Peronism; the tango; the Dirty War; and the elusive struggle for democracy, development, and social justice.

264. Conquest, Colonialism, and Independence: Africa since 1880
Olufemi Vaughan M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
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.

266. History of Mexico
Allen Wells T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
A survey of Mexican history from pre-Columbian times to the present. Topics include the evolving character of indigenous societies, the nature of the Encounter, the colonial legacy, the chaotic nineteenth century, the Mexican Revolution, and United States-Mexican relations. Contemporary problems are also addressed.

269. After Apartheid: Southern African History and Historiography
David Gordon T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
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.

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, Amerindian, 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.

275. The Making of Modern China: 1550 to Present
Lawrence Zhang M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An overview of the changes and transformations in China beginning from the commercial revolution in the sixteenth century and ending at the second commercial revolution in the present day. Topics include political and intellectual changes, the increasing exchange between China and the Western world, challenges from and responses to imperialism, as well as social and cultural transformations, with a thematic emphasis on the changing definition of "China"and its place in the world. Discussions and assignments based on primary source materials.

277. Hong Kong and Taiwan's Colonial Pasts
Lawrence Zhang M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Seminar. Examines the history of Hong Kong and Taiwan in particular, and through them the concept of "Greater China," which can include ethnic Chinese groups in Southeast Asia and Singapore. Students study the historical circumstances in which such communities were born, their evolution over time, and their changing relationship with China throughout the past few centuries. Topics covered include colonialism and imperialism, ethnic identity and relations, trade and commerce, and geopolitical shifts through time.

284. The Emergence of Modern Japan
Thomas Conlan T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
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 postwar recovery.

288. The Cold War
David Hecht M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the history of the Cold War. Primarily considers United States politics and culture of the era, focusing on issues such as the atomic bomb, the arms race, McCarthyism, civil rights, 1960s student protests, the Vietnam War, and the myriad ways in which all aspects of American culture-from film to literature to science to religion-were affected by the Cold War. Uses films"”both current and from the era"”to explore changing notions of Cold War history and the contemporary political and ideological implications of those ideas.

336. Research in Nineteenth-Century United States History
Patrick Rael W 10:00 - 11:25, F 10:00 - 11:25
A research course for majors and interested non-majors that culminates in a single 25-30 page research paper. With the professor's consent, students may choose any topic in Civil War or African American history, broadly defined. This is a special opportunity to delve into Bowdoin's rich collections of primary historical source documents.

380. The Warrior Culture of Japan
Thomas Conlan M 1:00 - 3:55
Explores the "rise" of the warrior culture of Japan. In addition to providing a better understanding of the judicial and military underpinnings of Japan's military "rule" and the nature of medieval Japanese warfare, shows how warriors have been perceived as a dominant force in Japanese history. Culminates in an extended research paper. Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.