The History major is for students who understand that shaping the future requires knowing the past. History courses explore many centuries of human experimentation and ingenuity, from the global to the individual scale. History majors learn to be effective storytellers and analysts, and to craft arguments that speak to broad audiences. They make extensive use of Yale’s vast library resources to create pioneering original research projects. Students of history learn to think about politics and government, sexuality, the economy, cultural and intellectual life, war and society, and other themes in broadly humanistic—rather than narrowly technocratic—ways.
History is one of Yale College’s most popular and intellectually diverse majors, encompassing nearly every region and time period of the global past. The study of history is excellent preparation for careers in many fields, including law, journalism, business and finance, education, politics and public policy, social activism, and the arts.
Courses numbered HIST 001 to 099 are first-year seminars, with enrollment limited to eighteen. Courses numbered in the 100s explore the history of the United States or Canada; those in the 200s, Europe, Russia, and Britain; and those in the 300s, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Courses numbered in the 400s address global topics. Courses whose numbers end with the letter "J" are departmental seminars; all departmental seminars are available for preregistration by History majors and are capped at fifteen students.
The prerequisite for the major is two term courses in History. Courses completed in fulfillment of the prerequisite may be applied toward the requirements of the major.
Requirements of the Major
Ten term courses in History are required, including prerequisites, and in addition to the senior essay. No specific courses are required.
Upon declaration, all History majors select either the global or the specialist track. The global track is designed for students seeking a broad understanding of major trends in the history of human societies throughout the world. The specialist track is for students seeking to focus in a particular geographic region, such as the United States, or in a thematic pathway, such as empires and colonialism. Majors may change tracks until the end of the course selection period in the second term of the junior year.
The global track requires one course in each of five different geographic regions (see below). Students must also take two preindustrial courses, covering material before the year 1800, and two departmental seminars, identified by a "J" suffix to the course number (e.g., HIST 136J).
The specialist track requires at least five (and up to eight) courses in a particular geographic region or in a thematic pathway (see list below). Courses appropriate for each region and pathway are listed on the department website. Students must also take at least two courses outside their area of specialization, and their overall course work must include at least three geographic regions. Like students in the global track, students in the specialist track must take two preindustrial courses, covering material before the year 1800, and at least two departmental seminars, identified by a "J" suffix to the course number (e.g., HIST 136J). Students in the specialist track may design an area of specialization with the approval of a faculty adviser and the DUS.
Regions: United States; Europe; Latin America; Asia; Middle East and Africa.
Pathways: cultural history; empires and colonialism; environmental history; ideas and intellectuals; international history; politics and law; race, gender, and sexuality; religion in context; science, technology, and medicine; social change and social movements; war and society; the world economy.
Students in either track may count the same courses toward geographical, preindustrial, and seminar requirements. For instance, a departmental seminar on premodern Japan simultaneously fulfills the preindustrial, seminar, and Asia geographical requirements.
Departmental seminars All students who declare the History major are entitled to preregister for two departmental seminars (designated by a course number ending in J, such as HIST 136J). Many seminars are popular and fill up quickly. Students may use their preregistration privileges at any time after declaring the major, in their sophomore, junior, or senior years. Sophomores contemplating study abroad are urged to consider taking at least one seminar in the sophomore year. Residential college seminars, study-abroad courses, and courses in other departments that count toward the History major do not fulfill the departmental seminar requirement.
Distinction in the major Students who receive an A or A– on the two-term senior essay and who receive the requisite grades in their remaining course work are awarded Distinction in the Major. (See under Honors in the Undergraduate Curriculum section of this bulletin.) Students who do not complete the two-term senior essay are not eligible for Distinction.
Roadmap See visual roadmap of the requirements.
Students in the History major are not passive consumers of historical knowledge: they create original works of history themselves. As seniors, History majors complete a work of original research in close consultation with a faculty adviser. The range of acceptable topics and methodological approaches are wide. The aim is to take on study of a significant historical subject through research in accessible primary source materials.
Most students choose to complete a two-term independent senior essay, for a total of twelve course credits in the major. The two-term essay is required to earn Distinction in the Major. A smaller number of students choose to write an independent one-term essay, for a total of eleven course credits in the major.
The one-term senior essay History majors may choose to write a one-term independent senior essay during the fall term under the guidance of a faculty adviser; however, students who choose the one-term option are not eligible for Distinction in the Major or history prizes. The one-term essay is a substantial research paper (roughly half the length of the two-term senior essay) based on primary sources, along with a bibliographic essay. Seniors receive course credit for their departmental essays by enrolling in HIST 497 during the fall of senior year. In rare circumstances, with permission of the adviser and Senior Essay Director, a student enrolled in HIST 497 during the fall term may withdraw from the course in accordance with Yale College regulations on course withdrawal and enroll in HIST 497 during the spring term. Additional details about the senior essay are provided in the Senior Essay Handbook, available on the History Website.
The two-term senior essay History majors seeking to earn Distinction in the Major must complete a two-term independent senior essay under the guidance of a faculty adviser. The typical senior essay is 40–50 pages (no more than 12,500 words), plus a bibliography and bibliographical essay. Seniors receive course credit for their departmental essays by enrolling in HIST 495 (first term of senior year) and HIST 496 (second term of senior year). The grade for the final essay, determined by an outside reader in consultation with the faculty adviser, is applied retroactively to both terms. Additional details about the senior essay are provided in the Senior Essay Handbook, available on the History Website. History majors graduating in December may begin their two-term senior essay in the spring term and complete the senior essay during fall term.
Additional option for the senior essay Some students embark on the two-term essay but discover that their choice is not a good fit. Students who enroll in HIST 495 during the first term may opt out in consultation with their faculty adviser and the senior essay director. This decision must be made in accordance with Yale College regulations on course withdrawal. Instead, the student will enroll in HIST 497 in the spring term to write a one-term senior essay. Students who opt out will not be eligible for Distinction in the Major or History prizes. Additional details about the senior essay are provided in the Senior Essay Handbook, available on the History Website.
All students who declare the History major are assigned an adviser from among the departmental faculty. The adviser is available throughout the year for consultation about courses and the major. Students in the global track are assigned an adviser from the general History faculty. Students in the specialist track are assigned an adviser in their area of specialization. At the beginning of each term, students majoring in History must have their schedule signed and approved by their departmental adviser or by the DUS. Students may request a specific adviser in consultation with the DUS, though the department cannot always accommodate such requests.
Course substitution History majors are permitted to include up to two courses taught outside the department toward fulfillment of the major, with the approval of the DUS. Nondepartmental courses may fulfill geographic, region/pathway, and preindustrial distribution requirements. They may not fulfill departmental seminar or senior requirements.
Combined B.A./M.A. degree program Exceptionally able and well-prepared students may complete a course of study leading to the simultaneous award of the B.A. and M.A. degrees after eight terms of enrollment. See "Simultaneous Award of the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" under Special Arrangements, section K, in the Academic Regulations. Interested students should consult the DUS prior to the sixth term of enrollment for specific requirements in History.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisites 2 term courses in History
Number of courses 10 term courses (incl prereqs, not incl senior essay)
Distribution of courses Both tracks—2 courses in preindustrial hist as specified; 2 departmental sems; Global track—1 course in each of 5 geographical regions (U.S., Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa/Middle East); Specialist track—5 courses in specific region or pathway; at least 2 courses outside region or pathway; overall course work must include 3 regions
Substitution permitted 1 or 2 nondepartmental courses approved by DUS
History explains why the world is the way it is. Yale’s history department offers a range of courses that help students explore the past, make sense of the present, and shape the future. Students of history investigate why societies have changed and developed over time and how human beings both make the world and are made by it. The study of history develops not only an understanding of the significant ideas and experiences of the past, but also such skills as organizing research projects, writing expository prose, and presenting effective oral arguments.
History courses cover a wide range of topics; there is no single introductory course. The department offers several first-year seminars each year, and most History lecture courses are open to all students, including first-year students. History departmental seminars require the instructor’s permission for enrollment and are open chiefly to majors.
The History major is one of the largest, most diverse, and most popular majors at Yale. Before they enter the major, students must take two term courses in history, preferably in the first two years. Most students begin with a first-year seminar, Directed Studies, or introductory lecture courses in areas that interest them. These courses count toward the major requirements. Upon declaring their major, students select either the global track, which emphasizes a broad understanding of world history or the specialist track in which students specialize in a region (such as U.S. History), or a thematic pathway (such as politics, law, and government) within their History course work. A list of pathways and regions, along with the courses relevant to them is available on the History department website.
After graduation, History majors enter many fields, including law, medicine, public policy, business, journalism, and the arts. Some go on to graduate study in history.
Questions about history courses may be addressed to the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or to the DUS assistant at 320 York Street, Room 237. Students who want to combine history with another major, study abroad, or accelerate should consult the DUS in the fall.
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
Professors Abbas Amanat, Ned Blackhawk, David Blight, Daniel Botsman, Paul Bushkovitch, Deborah Coen, Carolyn Dean, Fabian Drixler, Carlos Eire, David Engerman, Paul Freedman, Joanne Freeman, John Gaddis, Beverly Gage, Bruce Gordon, Valerie Hansen, Robert Harms, Matthew Jacobson, Gilbert Joseph, Paul Kennedy, Benedict Kiernan, Jennifer Klein, Naomi Lamoreaux, Bentley Layton, Noel Lenski, Kathryn Lofton, Mary Lui, Daniel Magaziner, Joseph Manning, Ivan Marcus, John Merriman, Joanne Meyerowitz (Acting Chair [F]), Alan Mikhail (Chair [Sp]), Samuel Moyn, Nicholas Parrillo, Peter Perdue, Mark Peterson, Stephen Pitti, Naomi Rogers, Paul Sabin, Lamin Sanneh, Stuart Schwartz, Timothy Snyder, David Sorkin, Harry Stout, John Warner, Anders Winroth, John Witt, Keith Wrightson
Associate Professors Paola Bertucci, Crystal Feimster, Andrew Johnston, Joanna Radin, Edward Rugemer, Marci Shore, Eliyahu Stern
Assistant Professors Jennifer Allen, Sergei Antonov, Rohit De, Marcela Echeverri, Anne Eller, Denise Ho, Isaac Nakhimovsky, William Rankin, Carolyn Roberts, Jonathan Wyrtzen
Senior Lecturers Becky Conekin, Jay Gitlin, Stuart Semmel, Rebecca Tannenbaum
Lecturers Sakena Aedin, Ivano Dal Prete, Rachel Elder, Jay Gitlin, Amelia Hintzen, Ian Johnson, Maria Jordan, George Levesque, Julia Mansfield, Jess Melvin, Gunther Peck, Chitra Ramalingam, Terence Renaud
* HIST 002a, Myth, Legend, and History in New England Mark Peterson
This seminar explores the complex and multi-faceted process of remembering and representing the past, using the New England region as our laboratory and drawing on the resources of Yale and the surrounding region for our tools. Human events are evanescent—as soon as they happen, they disappear. Yet they live on in many forms, embodied in physical artifacts and the built environment, converted to songs, stories, and legends, inscribed in written records of a thousand sorts, depicted in graphic images from paintings and sketches to digital photographs and video. From these many sources people form and reform their understanding of the past. In this seminar, we examine a series of iconic events and patterns deeply embedded in New England’s past and analyze the contested processes whereby historians, artists, poets, novelists, and other “remembrancers” of the past have attempted to do this essential work. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 015b, History of Food and Cuisine Paul Freedman
The history of food from the Middle Ages to the present, with a focus on the United States and Europe. How societies gathered and prepared food; culinary tastes of different times and places. The influence of taste on trade, colonization, and cultural exchange. The impact of immigration, globalization, and technology on food. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program. HU
* HIST 022a, What History Teaches John Gaddis
An introduction to the discipline of history. History viewed as an art, a science, and something in between; differences between fact, interpretation, and consensus; history as a predictor of future events. Focus on issues such as the interdependence of variables, causation and verification, the role of individuals, and to what extent historical inquiry can or should be a moral enterprise. WR, HU
* HIST 025b, Painting and History Noah Gentele
Exploration of how imaginative artworks and archival sources engage in a common effort to make sense of the past. Topical focus on Britain and France in the nineteenth century, as well as American art of the mid-twentieth century. Consideration of how the tools of visual analysis can aid in the study of historical change and how the understanding of historical events can illuminate the complexities of fine art. Painters including West, David, Blake, Ingres, Turner, Manet, Rossetti, Whistler, Seurat, Redon, Newman, Noland, and Pollock. Multiple visits to galleries and archives. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. HU
* HIST 033a / WGSS 033a, Fashion in London and Paris, 1750 to the Present Becky Conekin
Introduction to the history of Western fashion from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, with a focus on Paris and London. Approaches, methods, and theories scholars have historically employed to study fashion and dress. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 036a, Utopia and Dystopia: From Classic Times to the Present in Western Culture María Jordán
We live in a time of dysfunctional societies but, at the same time, in a moment of ecological, egalitarian, and tolerant societies. In this class we examine utopian ideas from Antiquity to the present in Western societies, and compare them with the ones that we formulate in our days. Also, we examine the correlation between dystopias and utopias. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 040a, Comparative Women's History Rebecca Tannenbaum
Comparative perspective on the lives of women and their experiences, the ways in which historical forces shaped gender roles in different cultures, and the similarities and differences in gender roles across different time periods and around the world. Topics include work, family roles, political participation, health and sexuality, religious roles, and global feminisms. WR, HU
* HIST 041a, The Americas in the Age of Revolutions Marcela Echeverri Munoz
The connections, contrasts, and legacies of revolutions in the British, French, and Spanish Atlantic empires in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Interactions between liberalism, black politics and antislavery, indigenous autonomy and citizenship, and revolutions in the Atlantic world between the 1760s and 1880s. Topics include the foundations of the Atlantic empires, strands of anticolonialism across the Americas, social aspects of the revolutionary movements, abolitionism and emancipation processes, and relations between the emergent American nations. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 055b, A History of Modern London Becky Conekin
Chronological and thematic exploration of modern London as a metropolitan and imperial center from the late-nineteenth-century to the present day. Topics include race, gay rights, women's rights, consumer culture, the experience of war, and the development of a multi-racial society. The fashion, food, and popular music of London emerge as important components of the city's global identity in the twentieth century. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 072b, The History of World History Valerie Hansen
How the great historians of ancient Greece, Rome, China, the Islamic world, and nineteenth-century Europe created modern historical method. How to evaluate the reliability of sources, both primary and secondary, and assess the relationship between fact and interpretation. Using historical method to make sense of our world today. Strategies for improving reading, writing, and public speaking skills. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 080a, The Vietnam Wars David Engerman
Exploration of the history of twentieth-century wars in Vietnam, including but not limited to the "American War." Through course readings and independent research, students examine the nature of Vietnamese colonial experience, the post-World War II settlement, and the growing anti-colonial conflict that had a dramatic impact on Vietnam, the United States, and the world. Students use fictional accounts, documentaries, and news reports as well as historians’ writings to deepen their knowledge of the Vietnam Wars, at the same time using these sources to contemplate how historians write history—and how all of us understand the past. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
* HIST 089b / HUMS 090b, Thinking about History Stuart Semmel
An introduction to the discipline of history. Exploration of influential historical narratives; the philosophy of history; the emergence of historical subdisciplines including history from below, microhistory, the new cultural history, and Big History; and interdisciplinary engagement with anthropology, literary criticism, art history, and psychology. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
HIST 103a, The World Circa 1800 Stuart Semmel
Global history studies cross-cultural interactions, connections, influences, and conflicts. Our subjects include: colonial expansion; war and resistance; slavery; migration and diaspora; the diffusion of ideas and technologies; and the transplanting of crops, livestock, and bacteria. Looking at the world around 1800 lets us consider the impact of European imperial expansion, the French revolution, religious movements, industrialization, and the “international” emergence of “nationalism.” We consider and explore the very notions of “modernization” and “globalization.” HU
HIST 107a / AMST 133a / ER&M 187a, Introduction to American Indian History Ned Blackhawk
Survey of American Indian history, beginning with creation traditions and migration theories and continuing to the present day. Focus on American Indian nations whose homelands are located within the contemporary United States. Complexity and change within American Indian societies, with emphasis on creative adaptations to changing historical circumstances. HU
HIST 115a / AMST 188a, The Colonial Period of American History Mark Peterson
This course explores the history of North America from the period of European colonization through the era of the Seven Years’ War, from roughly 1492 to 1763. Emphasis is placed on the migration of people from Europe and Africa to North America; their contact and interaction with Native Americans; the formation of new societies and economies; and the corresponding development of new political and social ideas in America, with special attention paid to the evolving relationship between slavery and freedom. Although the course addresses the major themes and issues of early American history, the lectures and readings frequently focus on the lives of individuals, both prominent and obscure, who shaped and were shaped by larger forces and developments. HU
HIST 119b / AFAM 172b, The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845–1877 David Blight
The causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War. A search for the multiple meanings of a transformative event, including national, sectional, racial, constitutional, social, gender, intellectual, and individual dimensions. HU
HIST 135b / ECON 182b, American Economic History Joshua Lewis
The growth of the American economy since 1790, both as a unique historical record and as an illustration of factors in the process of economic development. The American experience viewed in the context of its European background and patterns of industrialization overseas. After introductory microeconomics. WR, SO
HIST 141a / AMST 141a, The American West Travis Ross
The history of the American West as both frontier and region, real and imagined, from the first contacts between Indians and Europeans in the fifteenth century to the multicultural encounters of the contemporary Sunbelt. Students work with historical texts and images from Yale's Western Americana Collection. HU
* HIST 140Ja, Inequality and the American Metropolis, 1880–1999 Nichole Nelson
This is a seminar on the development of American cities and suburbs from the late 1880s through the late 1990s. This course examines key themes such as racial residential segregation, public housing, suburbanization, African-American suburbanites, people of color’s resistance to environmental racism, and racial residential integration. WR, HU
HIST 146b / ER&M 214b / HLTH 280b / HSHM 212b, Historical Perspectives on Global Health Tess Lanzarotta
In the 21st century “global health” is recognized as an influential framework for orienting action among a huge range of groups including public health workers, activists, philanthropists, economists, political leaders, and students. How did this come to pass? This survey class introduces you to the historical circumstances that have contributed to the contemporary landscape of global health. We travel through several centuries to examine how ideas about disease, colonialism, race, gender, science, diplomacy, security, economy, and humanitarianism have shaped and been shaped by attempts to negotiate problems of health that transcend geopolitical borders. HU
HIST 147a / AMST 247a / FILM 244a / HLTH 170a / HSHM 202a, Media and Medicine in Modern America John Warner and Gretchen Berland
Relationships between medicine, health, and the media in the United States from 1870 to the present. The changing role of the media in shaping conceptions of the body, creating new diseases, influencing health and health policy, crafting the image of the medical profession, informing expectations of medicine and constructions of citizenship, and the medicalization of American life. HU
HIST 159a / CLCV 129a / HUMS 129a / NELC 326a / RLST 158a, From Jesus to Muhammad Stephen Davis
The history of Christianity and the development of Western culture from Jesus to the early Middle Ages. The creation of orthodoxy and heresy; Christian religious practice; philosophy and theology; politics and society; gender; Christian literature in its various forms, up to and including the early Islamic period. HU
HIST 165b / AMST 199b, The American Century Beverly Gage
United States politics, political thought, and social movements in the 20th century. Pivotal elections and political figures (Wilson, Roosevelt, Nixon, Reagan) as well as politics from below (civil rights, labor, women's activism). Emphasis on political ideas such as liberalism, conservatism, and radicalism, and on the intersection between domestic and foreign affairs. Primary research in Yale archival collections. Students who have already completed HIST 136J must have the instructor's permission to enroll in this course, and will perform alternate readings during some weeks. HU
HIST 166b / AMST 299b / ER&M 299b, The History of Right Now Matthew Jacobson
Historiographic narrative of United States history over the past century and critical/methodological practices of thinking historically and of identifying ways in which our present has been conditioned by historical legacies, both momentous and subtle. Topics include the New Deal, WWII, the arms race, Reaganomics, and 9/11 in terms of their lasting influence on American conditions in the present. HU RP
HIST 169b, Early National America Joanne Freeman
An introduction to America's first decades as a nation. Topics include the creation of a national politics, partisan conflict in the states and on a national level, the logistics of democratic politicking, and changes in American society and culture. HU
HIST 183a / AMST 272a / ER&M 282a / WGSS 272a, Asian American History, 1800 to the Present Mary Lui
An introduction to the history of East, South, and Southeast Asian migrations and settlement to the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. Major themes include labor migration, community formation, U.S. imperialism, legal exclusion, racial segregation, gender and sexuality, cultural representations, and political resistance. HU
HIST 184a / AFAM 160a / AFST 184a / AMST 160a, The Rise and Fall of Atlantic Slavery Edward Rugemer
The history of peoples of African descent throughout the Americas, from the first African American societies of the sixteenth century through the century-long process of emancipation. HU
HIST 188b / AMST 234b / ER&M 243b / RLST 342b, Spiritual But Not Religious Zareena Grewal
Study of the historical and contemporary “unchurching” trends in American religious life in a comparative perspective and across different scales of analysis in order to think about the relationship between spirituality, formal religion, secular psychology and the self-help industry. HU, SO
HIST 199b / AMST 236b / EVST 318b / HSHM 207b, American Energy History Paul Sabin
The history of energy in the United States from early hydropower and coal to present-day hydraulic fracturing, deepwater oil, wind, and solar. Topics include energy transitions and technological change; energy and democracy; environmental justice and public health; corporate power and monopoly control; electricity and popular culture; labor struggles; the global quest for oil; changing national energy policies; the climate crisis. HU
HIST 202a, European Civilization, 1648–1945 John Merriman
An overview of the economic, social, political, and intellectual history of modern Europe. Topics include the rise of absolute states, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Napoleon, the industrial revolution, the revolutions of 1848, nationalism and national unifications, Victorian Britain, the colonization of Africa and Asia, fin-de-siècle culture and society, the Great War, the Russian Revolution, the Europe of political extremes, and World War II. HU
HIST 205a / CLCV 205a / HUMS 143a, Introduction to Ancient Greek History François Gerardin
Introduction to Greek history, tracing the development of Greek civilization as manifested in the political, military, intellectual, and creative achievements from the Bronze Age through the end of the Classical period. Students read original sources in translation as well as secondary scholarship to better understand the rise and fall of the ancient Greeks—the civilization at the very heart of Western Civilization. HU
HIST 210b, The Early Middle Ages, 284–1000 Paul Freedman
Major developments in the political, social, and religious history of western Europe from the accession of Diocletian to the feudal transformation. Topics include the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islam and the Arabs, the "Dark Ages," Charlemagne and the Carolingian renaissance, and the Viking and Hungarian invasions. HU
HIST 215b / RLST 283b, Reformation Europe, 1450–1650 Carlos Eire
Examination of a series of religious revolutions in Europe between 1450 and 1650. The causes and nature of the reformations that changed the religious, political, social, and economic landscapes of early modern Europe and shaped the course of Western civilization as a whole. HU
HIST 217a / CLCV 206a / HUMS 144a, The Roman Republic François Gerardin
The origins, development, and expansion of Rome from the earliest times to the deaths of Caesar and Cicero. Cultural identity and interaction; slavery, class, and the family; politics, rhetoric, and propaganda; religion; imperialism; monumentality and memory; and the perception and writing of history. Application of literary and archaeological evidence. HU
HIST 218b / CLCV 207b, The Roman Empire François Gerardin
The history of the Roman Empire from its establishment by Augustus to the reign of Justinian. Attention to social, intellectual, and religious changes, as well as to the framework of historical events within which these changes took place, and to the processes by which the Roman Empire was replaced by the institutions of the Western Middle Ages and the Byzantine Empire. HU
HIST 220b / JDST 201b / RLST 149b, Introduction to Modern Jewish History David Sorkin
A broad introduction to the history of Jewish culture from the late Middle Ages until the present. Emphasis on the changing interaction of Jews with the larger society as well as the transformation of Judaism in its encounter with modernity. HU
HIST 221b / GLBL 281b, Military History of the West since 1500 Paul Kennedy
A study of the military history of the West since 1500, with emphasis on the relationship between armies and navies on the one hand, and technology, economics, geography, and the rise of the modern nation-state on the other. The coming of airpower in its varied manifestations. Also meets requirements for the Air Force and Naval ROTC programs. HU
HIST 249a / JDST 346a, Making European Culture Jewish: Five Media, 1780-1930 David Sorkin
This course studies the ways in which Jewish writers and artists turned European culture into Jewish culture, that is, how a minority group fashioned its own version of the majority culture. As European Jews encountered European culture and society, they had to grapple with a host of fundamental questions. What was Judaism and who were the Jews: a religion, a history, a culture, a nation? We examine the way in which writers and artists struggled with these issues in five media: memoir, theology, history, fiction, and painting, thereby creating Jewish versions first of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and realism (1780-1870) and then of nationalism, positivism, and modernism (1870-1930). HU
HIST 275a, Revolutionary France, 1789–1871 John Merriman
Dimensions of political, social, and economic change in France during its most turbulent period. The causes and impact of the revolutions of 1789, 1830, 1848, and 1871; demographic change and large-scale industrialization; shifting political elites, republican and socialist alternatives to monarchy, and urbanization. HU
HIST 276b, France since 1871 John Merriman
The emergence of modern France since the Paris Commune of 1871 and the beginnings of the Third Republic. The social, economic, political, and cultural transformation of France; the impact of France's revolutionary heritage, of industrialization, and of the dislocation wrought by two world wars and decolonialization; and the political response of the Left and the Right to changing French society, including the impact of immigration and the emergence and challenges of the European Union. One discussion section conducted in French; students in this section may count the course toward the French major. HU
HIST 280a / ITAL 315a / RLST 160a, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition Carlos Eire
Introductory survey of the interaction between Catholicism and Western culture from the first century to the present, with a focus on pivotal moments and crucial developments that defined both traditions. Key beliefs, rites, and customs of the Roman Catholic Church, and the ways in which they have found expression; interaction between Catholics and the institution of the Church; Catholicism in its cultural and sociopolitical matrices. Close reading of primary sources. HU
HIST 290a / RSEE 225a, Russia from the Ninth Century to 1801 Paul Bushkovitch
The mainstream of Russian history from the Kievan state to 1801. Political, social, and economic institutions and the transition from Eastern Orthodoxy to the Enlightenment. HU
HIST 300b / CLCV 204b, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World Joseph Manning
The history and culture of the ancient world between the rise of Macedonian imperialism in the fourth century B.C.E. and the annexation of Egypt by Augustus in 30 B.C.E. Particular attention to Alexander, one of the most important figures in world history, and to the definition of "Hellenism." WR, HU
HIST 311a / CLCV 311a, Egypt of the Pharaohs Joseph Manning
Egypt was among the first centralized territorial states in the world, and, because Egyptian history offers us 4000 years of institutional development and change, the focus of this course is on the long-term development of the ancient Egyptian state, its institutions, and its culture. The course introduces students to the history and culture of ancient Egypt from the rise of the central state to the early Christian period. General historical trends, the relationship of Egyptian history to other contemporary ancient cultures, and the legacy of Egypt to the “West” are also considered. At the end of the course, students have an understanding of the material culture and the historical development of ancient Egypt, and an appreciation for the relationship of the ancient sources to the construction of ancient Egyptian history. HU
HIST 321b / EAST 220, China from Present to Past, 2015–600 Valerie Hansen
Underlying causes of current issues facing China traced back to their origins in the premodern period. Topics include economic development, corruption, environmental crises, gender, and Pacific island disputes. Selected primary-source readings in English, images, videos, and Web resources. *Optional additional Chinese-language and English-language sections. HU
HIST 332a / AFST 333a, African Encounters with Colonialism Daniel Magaziner
How African societies and peoples encountered, engaged, and endured the colonial and postcolonial world, from the arrival of Kiswahili-speaking traders at the shores of Lake Victoria in the 1840s through the rise and fall of European colonialism and the resulting forms of neocolonialism. Transformations and continuities in African religious life; gendered sociability; popular culture. HU
HIST 339a / EAST 239, China's Last Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Qing Dynasty, 1600-1912 Peter Perdue
An overview of important events and processes in China’s last and largest dynasty. HU
HIST 342a / RLST 180a / SAST 280a, Mughal India, 1500–1800 Supriya Gandhi
Exploration of religion and the state in Mughal India, focusing on the period between 1500–1800. Topics include sacred sovereignty, orthodoxy, Sufism, vernacular literary and religious cultures, and the early colonial encounter. HU
HIST 346a / MMES 144a, The Making of Modern Iran Abbas Amanat
The political, socioreligious, and cultural history of modern Iran from the Shi'ite revolution and the rise of the Safavid Empire to the present. Discussion of Shi'ism and the state, relations with neighboring countries (the Ottoman Empire and India), Russia and Britain in Qajar Iran, the Babi-Baha'i religion, the constitutional revolution, the Pahlavi dynasty, oil, nationalism and relations with the United States, the causes and the consequences of the Islamic revolution, and Iran in the contemporary Middle East. HU
HIST 361a / LAST 361a, History of Brazil Stuart Schwartz
Brazilian history from European contact to the reestablishment of civilian government in the 1990s. Focus on the multiethnic nature of Brazilian society, the formation of social and political patterns, and the relationship of people to the environment. HU
HIST 396b / SAST 224b, India and Pakistan since 1947 Rohit De
Introduction to the history of the Indian subcontinent from 1947 to the present. Focus on the emergence of modern forms of life and thought, the impact of the partition on state and society, and the challenges of democracy and development. Transformations of society, economy, and culture; state building; economic policy. HU
HIST 479a / AFAM 170a / HSHM 241a, Sickness and Health in African American History Carolyn Roberts
A history of American medicine through the African American experience covering the period of slavery through #BlackLivesMatter. Oriented around the complex dynamics of medical abuse and medical resistance, key themes include medicine and slavery; gender and reproduction; medical experimentation and ethics; the rise of racial science; lynching and vigilante violence; segregation and public health; African-descended approaches to health and healing; the rise of the African American medical profession; and black health activism from slavery to #BlackLivesMatter. HU
All History majors must take at least two departmental seminars. Seminars on the history of the United States or Canada are numbered 100J to 199J; seminars on Britain and Europe are 200J to 299J; and seminars on Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are 300J to 399J. Seminars numbered in the 400s address global topics; students must apply to the director of undergraduate studies in History to count a 400-level seminar toward a particular geographical distribution category. Each departmental seminar aims to acquaint students in a substantial and professional way with the literature of a period in history; to train them as far as possible in the use of primary source materials; to introduce them to problems of bibliography, historiography, and historical method; and to give them training in the writing of history. The relative importance of these objectives in any particular seminar depends on its subject matter, the previous preparation of its students, and the availability of materials.
Each term declared History majors should apply for departmental seminars for the following term using the online seminar preregistration site. Preregistration begins after midterm in the fall for seminars offered in the spring term, and after spring recess for seminars offered in the subsequent fall term. All students who wish to preregister must declare their major beforehand.
During the course selection period, application for admission should be made directly to the instructors of the seminars, who will admit students to remaining vacancies in their seminars. Priority is given to applications from juniors, then seniors, majoring in History, but applications are also accepted from qualified sophomores and from students majoring in other disciplines or programs. The department seeks wherever possible to accommodate students' preferences; for their part, students should recognize that limitations imposed by the size of seminars (normally fifteen students) make accommodation impossible in some instances. HIST 494 and residential college seminars that count toward the History major do not fulfill the departmental seminar requirement.
* HIST 119Jb / AMST 453b, The United States Constitution of 1787 Mark Peterson
This undergraduate seminar is organized around developing a deep historical understanding of one of our most important documents, the United States Constitution, as it emerged in the late 1780s. In addition to close reading and analysis of this fundamental text, we read a series of other primary sources relevant to the evolution of constitutional thought and practice in the Anglo-American tradition of the early modern period. And we engage relevant secondary scholarship produced by professional historians over the past century or more, in an effort to grapple with the evolution of changing approaches to the Constitution and its meaning over time. This course carries PI credit in History. WR, HU
* HIST 124Ja / HSHM 472a, American Bodies at War 1776–Present Katherrine Healey
This reading seminar examines the human bodies recruited for and impacted by American wars from the Revolutionary War to the present. Topics include gender, sexuality, reproduction, and masculinity; race, citizenship, and corporal sacrifice; changing notions of mental and physical fitness; disability and rehabilitation; disease, medicine, and public health; rationing, nutrition, and the home front; and the human-technology interface. WR, HU
* HIST 127Jb / WGSS 427b, Witchcraft in Colonial America Rebecca Tannenbaum
The social, religious, economic, and gender history of British North America as manifested through witchcraft beliefs and trials. WR, HU
* HIST 128Jb / HSHM 475b, Race and Disease in American Medicine Sakena Abedin
An exploration of the history of race and disease in American medicine from the late 19th century to the present, focusing on clinical practice and clinical research. We discuss cancer, psychiatric disease, sickle cell disease, and infectious diseases including tuberculosis and HIV. We examine the role of race in the construction of disease and the role of disease in generating and supporting racial hierarchies, with special attention to the role of visibility and the visual in these processes. We also consider the history of race and clinical research, and the implications of racialized disease construction for the production of medical knowledge. WR, HU
* HIST 133Jb, The Creation of the American Politician, 1789–1820 Joanne Freeman
The creation of an American style of politics: ideas, political practices, and self-perceptions of America's first national politicians. Topics include national identity, the birth of national political parties, methods of political combat, early American journalism, changing conceptions of leadership and citizenship, and the evolving political culture of the early republic. WR, HU
* HIST 134Jb, Yale and America: Selected Topics in Social and Cultural History Jay Gitlin
Relations between Yale and Yale people—from Ezra Stiles and Noah Webster to Cole Porter, Henry Roe Cloud, and Maya Lin—and American society and culture. Elihu Yale and the global eighteenth century; Benjamin Silliman and the emergence of American science; Walter Camp, Dink Stover, and the all-American boy; Henry Luce and the information age; faith and ideology in postwar Yale and America. WR, HU RP
* HIST 135Ja, The Age of Hamilton and Jefferson Joanne Freeman
The culture and politics of the revolutionary and early national periods of American history, using the lives, ideas, and writings of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton as a starting point. Topics include partisan conflict, political culture, nation building, the American character, and domestic life. WR, HU
* HIST 138Jb, Problems in American Historical Memory: The Civil War David Blight
The problem and the study of "memory" among American and international historians and scholars from other disciplines. Readings drawn from theoretical works, recent secondary literature, and public history controversies. WR, HU
* HIST 140Ja, Inequality and the American Metropolis, 1880–1999 Nichole Nelson
This is a seminar on the development of American cities and suburbs from the late 1880s through the late 1990s. This course examines key themes such as racial residential segregation, public housing, suburbanization, African-American suburbanites, people of color’s resistance to environmental racism, and racial residential integration. WR, HU
* HIST 141Jb, Silver and Smuggling: The Evolution of a Market Economy in America, c. 1680-1840 Julia Mansfield
This course, designed for History majors, emphasizes both the writing and interpretation of history, with a thematic focus on the economic development of colonial Anglo-America and the early United States. WR, HU
* HIST 142Ja / HSHM 445a / WGSS 453a, Women and Medicine in America from the Colonial Era to the Present Naomi Rogers
American women from the colonial era to the present as midwives, patients, healers, reformers, revolutionaries, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Ways that women have shaped American health care and medical research. WR, HU
* HIST 143Jb, Cultural History of Mental Illness in America Staff
Exploration of the meanings attributed to black-white differences in health from the late-nineteenth century to the present with an emphasis on the mutual construction of race and health/disease. Topics include specific diseases, (cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, HIV) as well as health activism, ‘health disparities’ research, and genomics. HU
* HIST 150Ja / HSHM 406a, Healthcare for the Urban Poor Sakena Abedin
Exploration of the institutions, movements, and policies that have attempted to provide healthcare for the urban poor in America from the late nineteenth century to the present, with emphasis on the ideas (about health, cities, neighborhoods, poverty, race, gender, difference, etc) that shaped them. Topics include hospitals, health centers, public health programs, the medical civil rights movement, the women’s health movement, and national healthcare policies such as Medicare and Medicaid.
* HIST 151Ja / AMST 422a / ER&M 435a, Writing Tribal Histories Ned Blackhawk
Historical overview of American Indian tribal communities, particularly since the creation of the United States. Challenges of working with oral histories, government documents, and missionary records. WR, HU
* HIST 158Jb / AMST 398b / ER&M 308b, American Indian Law and Policy Ned Blackhawk
Survey of the origins, history, and legacies of federal Indian law and policy during two hundred years of United States history. The evolution of U.S. constitutional law and political achievements of American Indian communities over the past four decades. WR, HU
* HIST 164Ja, Foxes, Hedgehogs, and History John Gaddis
Application of Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between foxes and hedgehogs to selected historical case studies extending from the classical age through the recent past. WR, HU
* HIST 168Jb, Quebec and Canada from 1791 to the Present Jay Gitlin
The history of Quebec and its place within Canada from the Constitutional Act of 1791 to the present. Topics include the Rebellion of 1837, confederation, the Riel Affair, industrialization and emigration to New England, French-Canadian nationalism and culture from Abbé Groulx to the Parti Québécois and Céline Dion, and the politics of language. Readings include plays by Michel Tremblay and Antonine Maillet in translation. WR, HU
* HIST 174Ja / AMST 451a / RLST 260a, Religion, War, and the Meaning of America Harry Stout
The relationship between religion and war in American history from colonial beginnings through Vietnam. The religious meanings of Americans at war; the mutually reinforcing influences of nationalism and religion; war as the norm of American national life; the concept of civil religion; biblical and messianic contexts of key U.S. conflicts. HU
* HIST 176Jb / HSHM 465b / WGSS 457b, Reproductive Health, Gender & Power in the U.S. Ziv Eisenberg
This seminar examines women’s and men’s reproductive health in the United States from the 19th century to the present. How have gender norms and social power structures shaped medical knowledge, scientific investigation, political regulation, and private reproductive experiences? What do the lessons of the history of reproductive health tell us about contemporary policy, legal and economic debates? Topics include abortion, activism, childbirth, contraceptives, eugenics, feminism, fertility, medicalization, pregnancy, reproductive science and technology, sexual health, social justice, and sterilization. WR, HU
* HIST 179Jb / HSHM 415b, Historical Perspectives on Science and Religion Ivano Dal Prete
The engagement between science and religion from a historical standpoint and a multicultural perspective. The Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, and Christian traditions; the roots of modern creationism; salvation expectations and the rise of modern science and technology. General knowledge of western and world history is expected. WR, HU
* HIST 199Jb / AFAM 447b / AMST 423b / LAST 447b, New Directions in Caribbean History Edward Rugemer
An exploration of recent scholarship on the history of the Caribbean, a region defined by the islands of the Caribbean Sea, the Caribbean coastal region of Central America, and the northern littoral of the South American mainland north of Brazil. The course focuses on the establishment of European colonies in the 17th century through the emergence of independent states in the region today. Key themes include the operation of racial slavery; the abolition of slavery and the process of emancipation; the systems of forced labor that followed abolition; migration; and the persistence of race, religion, and imperialism in the formation of Caribbean societies. Enrollment priority given to upper-level students. WR, HU
* HIST 215Jb, The Art of Biography John Gaddis
A comparative examination of successful as well as unsuccessful biographies, intended to identify both principles and pitfalls. WR, HU
* HIST 220Jb, Grand Strategy and the Origins of the Second World War Paul Kennedy
A survey of the most important literature and debates concerning the coming of the Second World War in both Europe and the Pacific. Emphasis on the comparative approach to international history and on the interplay of domestic politics, economics, and strategy. Counts toward only European distributional credit within the History major. WR, HU RP
* HIST 221Ja / RSEE 231a, Russia in the Age of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, 1850-1905 Sergei Antonov
Russian politics, culture, and society ca. 1850 to 1905. Tsars’ personalities and ruling styles, political culture under autocracy. Reform from above and revolutionary terror. Serfdom and its abolition, problem of “traditional” Russian culture. Growth of industrial and financial capitalism, middle-class culture, and daily life. Foreign policy and imperial conquest, including the Caucasus and the Crimean War (1853-56). Readings combine key scholarly articles, book chapters, and representative primary sources. All readings and discussions in English. WR, HU
* HIST 222Jb / RSEE 222b, Russia and the Eurasian Steppe Paul Bushkovitch
A study of Russia's interaction with the nomads of the Eurasian steppe. Topics include the Mongol invasion, the Mongol Empire in Asia and the Golden Horde, Islam, nomadic society, and the Russian state. Focus on conquest and settlement. May count toward either European or Asian distributional credit within the History major, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. WR, HU
* HIST 229Ja, London, 1560-1760 Keith Wrightson
A study of London's growth between 1560 and 1760 from a modest city of perhaps 50,000 people to a metropolis with over 700,000 inhabitants. Themes include the dynamics of growth; birth and death, with particular reference to the plague; migration; household life; villages within the city; London as the center of print culture; the royal court; polite society in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries; the "middle sort of people" and consumerism; the world of the poor; and vice and criminality. In September and in January, application for admission should be made directly to the instructors of the seminars, who will admit students to remaining vacancies in their seminars. Priority is given to applications from juniors, then seniors, majoring in History, but applications are also accepted from qualified sophomores and from students majoring in other disciplines or programs. Seminars on the history of the United States or Canada are numbered 100J to 199J; seminars on Britain and Europe are 200J to 299J; and seminars numbered 300J to 399J cover the rest of the world. Seminars numbered in the 400s address global topics; students must apply to the director of undergraduate studies in History to count a 400-level seminar toward a particular geographical distribution category. WR, HU
* HIST 230Jb / JDST 372b, Jewish Every-Day Life in the Middle Ages Micha Perry
This class will present Jewish daily life in the Middle Ages using material culture. In recent years historians are increasingly interested in every-day, or quotidian, history. One of the methods to do so is to use, along sides texts, archeology and the material world. Medieval Jewish history was written prominently through written sources, and hence tended to concentrate on the intellectual male elite, institutions and events. Following the ‘material turn’, this seminar wishes to use Jewish material culture in order to portray the everyday life of ordinary people. Among the subjects we will touch upon are: space, language, economics, the Jewish quarter and street; the synagogue; the ritual bath (mikve); the cemetery and gravestones; book culture; charters; jewelry; fashion and food. HU
* HIST 231Jb, The Dark Years: Collaboration and Resistance in Vichy France John Merriman
The concomitants of collaboration and resistance during Vichy France, 1940–44. Topics include the fall of France in 1940; the return of Pétain's "National Revolution" and its continuities with the French Right during the Third Republic; the extent and nature of resistance (in the context of pre–World War II politics); and the memory of the Vichy years and its influence on subsequent French political life. WR, HU
* HIST 232Ja / HUMS 443a / JDST 270a / MMES 342a / RLST 201a, Medieval Jews, Christians, and Muslims In Conversation Ivan Marcus
How members of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities thought of and interacted with members of the other two cultures during the Middle Ages. Cultural grids and expectations each imposed on the other; the rhetoric of otherness—humans or devils, purity or impurity, and animal imagery; and models of religious community and power in dealing with the other when confronted with cultural differences. Counts toward either European or Middle Eastern distributional credit within the History major, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. WR, HU RP
* HIST 242Jb / CLCV 319b / MGRK 300b / WGSS 293b, The Olympic Games, Ancient and Modern George Syrimis
Introduction to the history of the Olympic Games from antiquity to the present. The mythology of athletic events in ancient Greece and the ritual, political, and social ramifications of the actual competitions. The revival of the modern Olympic movement in 1896, the political investment of the Greek state at the time, and specific games as they illustrate the convergence of athletic cultures and sociopolitical transformations in the twentieth century. HU
* HIST 260Ja / HSHM 468a, Sex, Life, and Generation Ivano Dal Prete
Theories and practices of life, sex, and generation in Western civilization. Politics and policies of conception and birth; social control of abortion and infanticide in premodern societies; theories of life and gender; the changing status of the embryo; the lure of artificial life. WR, HU
* HIST 262Ja / ENGL 262a / HUMS 410a, Modernities: Nineteenth-Century Historical Narratives Stefanie Markovits and Stuart Semmel
British historical narratives in the nineteenth century, an age often cited as the crucible of modern historical consciousness. How a period of industrialization and democratization grounded itself in imagined pasts—whether recent or distant, domestic or foreign—in both historical novels and works by historians who presented programmatic statements about the nature of historical development. WR, HU
* HIST 269Ja, History and Holocaust Testimony Carolyn Dean
The history and memoirs of Holocaust testimony. How victims' experiences are narrated and assessed by historians. Questions regarding memory and history. WR, HU
* HIST 333Jb / PLSC 157b / PLSC 672, The Persian Gulf and the Great Powers Jeffrey Macris
Since the dawn of the Age of Discovery, the world’s great powers have been drawn to the Persian (Arabian) Gulf region. This course explores how outside powers have used hard and soft power in the region in pursuit of their national interests, and the impact that this involvement has had on the region and its resident populations. Students write an original research paper, drawing upon the extensive holdings in the Yale University Libraries of published British and American archival documents on the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. HU, SO
* HIST 334Jb / ER&M 364b / LAST 334b, Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Politics of Knowledge in Latin America Marcela Echeverri Munoz
Examination of ethnicity and nationalism in Latin America through the political lens of social knowledge. Comparative analysis of the evolution of symbolic, economic, and political perspectives on indigenous peoples, peasants, and people of African descent from the nineteenth century to the present. Consideration of the links between making ethnic categories in the social sciences and in literature and the rise of political mechanisms of participation and representation that have characterized the emergence of cultural politics. WR, HU RP
* HIST 342Ja / MMES 345a, The Middle East and the West: A Cultural Encounter Abbas Amanat
Cultural dialogues and confrontation between the modern Middle East and the West (Europe and North America) and their significance for our time. Western images of the Orient and discourse of Orientalism, Middle East as a modern construct, Muslim knowledge of Western modernity, impact of colonialism and territorial conflicts, and cultural roots of Islamic Jihadism and nonstate terrorist entities. WR, HU
* HIST 363Jb / ER&M 433b / SAST 334b, Mobile South Asians and the Global Legal Order Rohit De
South Asians make up the largest population of overseas migrants in the world, close to 33 million in 2017 and a diaspora that is almost double that number. This course looks at the unprecedented mobility of South Asians from the mid-19th century until now as merchants, indentured labor, students, pilgrims, professionals, domestic workers, political exiles, refugees, and economic migrants, through the lens of state attempts to control movement and individual resistance, subversion, and adaptation to such controls. Focusing on the legal consciousness of South Asian migrants and the emergence of South Asian nations as political players on the global stage, this class traces how South Asian mobility led to the forging of a new global order, over migration, multiculturalism, Islamic law, civil liberties, labor law, and international law. WR, HU
* HIST 366Jb / AFST 368b / EVST 369b, Commodities of Colonialism in Africa Robert Harms and Keri Lambert
This course examines historical case studies of several significant global commodities produced in Africa to explore interactions between world market forces and African resources and societies. Through the lens of four specific commodities–ivory, rubber, cotton, and diamonds–this course evaluates diverse industries and their historical trajectories in sub-Saharan Africa within a global context from ~1870-1990s. Students become acquainted with the historical method by developing their own research paper on a commodity using both primary and secondary sources. WR, HU
* HIST 367Ja / AFST 366a / EP&E 305a / PLSC 364a, Bureaucracy in Africa: Revolution, Genocide, and Apartheid Jonathan Steinberg
A study of three major episodes in modern African history characterized by ambitious projects of bureaucratically driven change—apartheid and its aftermath, Rwanda’s genocide and post-genocide reconstruction, and Ethiopia’s revolution and its long aftermath. Examination of Weber’s theory bureaucracy, Scott’s thesis on high modernism, Bierschenk’s attempts to place African states in global bureaucratic history. Overarching theme is the place of bureaucratic ambitions and capacities in shaping African trajectories.
* HIST 368Ja / AFST 324a / EP&E 317a / PLSC 324a, Nelson Mandela Jonathan Steinberg
A study of Nelson Mandela’s life and career and the political and philosophical questions his career engages. Students examine his ideas on race and on the colonial experience and compare them to those of Mohandas Gandhi and Franz Fanon. Students also read recent philosophical work on forgiveness in order to critically assess Mandela’s politics of reconciliation. Examination of Mandela as a global celebrity, as well as the political career of Winnie Mandela.
* HIST 369Jb / EAST 404b / EVST 403b, The City in Modern East Asia Michael Thornton
Cities in East Asia developed into cosmopolitan urban centers in the modern era. They hosted encounters with Western empires and witnessed the rise of new forms of participatory politics; they not only reflected the broader efforts of their respective nation-states to modernize and industrialize, but also produced violent reactions against state regimes. They served as nodes in networks of migrants, commerce, and culture that grew more extensive in the modern era. In these ways, the history of East Asian urbanism is the history of the fluidity and dynamism of urban society and politics in the context of an increasingly interconnected modern world. We study cosmopolitan cities across East Asia from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day. A comparative approach allows us to explore both general trends and themes, and distinct historical experiences across the countries of the region. Specific seminar topics include: urban politics, including state-society relations; cities as sites of geopolitical and imperial encounters; changes in urban society, including the impact of migration and social conflict; the urban environment, including natural and man-made disasters; urban planning, at the local, national and transnational scale; and ways of visualizing the city. HU
* HIST 373Ja / SAST 439a, Islam in Modern South Asia (ca. 1750 – present) Naveena Naqvi
The partition of British India in 1947 produced the separate Muslim-majority and Hindu-majority states of Pakistan and India. This moment was the culmination of a long historical arc, in which religious identities were transformed and politicized under colonialism. The course examines this process, tracing the development of a spectrum of modern Muslim subjectivities from the advent of colonial rule to the present. Some of the questions that we address are: how did the history of Muslim sovereignty continue to inform colonial and nationalist self-definitions? How did Islamic institutions reform under colonialism and under what circumstances did Islamic revivalists resist colonial rule? To what extent were these developments connected with or separate from processes in other parts of the British empire? In response to these questions, students consider a range of variables, such as the influence of modernizing Muslim ideologues, the role of Christian missionaries, the introduction of the printing press, and the creation of modern madrasa schools. Students also trace the emergence of electoral politics and the violent partition of India in the twentieth century, and address how contemporary South Asian Muslim identities intersected with other articulations of identity such as caste, gender, class, and political ideologies. SO
* HIST 375Ja / AFST 372a / MMES 105a / SOCY 372a, Comparative Nationalism in North Africa and the Middle East Jonathan Wyrtzen
The rise of nationalism in the Maghreb (or Arab West) and Mashriq (or Arab East). Introduction to major debates about nationalism; the influence of transnational (pan-Islamic and pan-Arab) ideologies, ethnicity, gender, and religion. Case studies include Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, and Berber and Kurdish movements. SO
* HIST 378Ja / MMES 139a / RLST 427a, Islam, Conquest, and Conversion Travis Zadeh
Through examination of conquest and religious conversion in the formative periods of Islamic history this course interrogates the idea that Islam was spread by violent domination. Case studies are drawn from the Middle East, South and South East Asia, the Indian Ocean, Iberia, and West Africa. HU
* HIST 383Ja / AFAM 213a / HSHM 481a, Medicine and Race in the Slave Trade Carolyn Roberts
Examination of the interconnected histories of medicine and race in the slave trade. Topics include the medical geography of the slave trade from slave prisons in West Africa to slave ships; slave trade drugs and forced drug consumption; mental and physical illnesses and their treatments; gender and the body; British and West African medicine and medical knowledge in the slave trade; eighteenth-century theories of racial difference and disease; medical violence and medical ethics. HU
* HIST 403Ja / HSHM 473a, Vaccination in Historical Perspective Jason Schwartz
For over two centuries, vaccination has been a prominent, effective, and at times controversial component of public health activities in the United States and around the world. Despite the novelty of many aspects of contemporary vaccines and vaccination programs, they reflect a rich and often contested history that combines questions of science, medicine, public health, global health, economics, law, and ethics, among other topics. This course examines the history of vaccines and vaccination programs, with a particular focus on the 20th and 21st centuries and on the historical roots of contemporary issues in U.S. and global vaccination policy. Students gain a thorough, historically grounded understanding of the scope and design of vaccination efforts, past and present, and the interconnected social, cultural, and political issues that vaccination has raised throughout its history and continues to raise today. HU
* HIST 414Ja / HSHM 416a, Engineering the Modern Body Rachel Elder
Exploring the human body in relationship to technology and the larger cultural processes of industrialization, medicalization, and most recently, the digital age. From Victorians who sought restoration from illness with electric belts, to the popularization of cosmetic surgery and gene therapy after World War II, students examine how the body became a canvas for a variety of personal, civic, and national goals. HU
* HIST 447Jb, A Global History of the Second World War, 1937–1945 Ian Johnson
Examination of the Second World War, considered the most violent cataclysm in human history. WWII highlights the fullest range of the human experience and retains a central role in the historical memory–and foreign policy–of many of the world’s leading powers. Topics include origins of the war, as well as course and conduct of the war, from the first battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to the postwar settlements. WR, HU
* HIST 459Ja / EVST 228a / HUMS 228a / LITR 345a, Climate Change and the Humanities Katja Lindskog
What can the Humanities tell us about climate change? The Humanities help us to better understand the relationship between everyday individual experience, and our rapidly changing natural world. To that end, students read literary, political, historical, and religious texts to better understand how individuals both depend on, and struggle against, the natural environment in order to survive. HU
* HIST 469Jb / EP&E 302b / GLBL 259b / PLSC 391b, State Formation Didac Queralt
Study of the domestic and international determinants of functional states from antiquity to date. Analysis of state-formation in Europe in pre-modern and outside Europe from colonial times to date. Topics include centralization of power, capacity to tax, and contract enforcement. SO
* HIST 479Ja / HSHM 487a, Disability, Science, and Society Rachel Elder
Science and disability are inextricably linked. Since at least the nineteenth century, medical science and technology have helped to define disability as a ‘problem’ in need of intervention rather than as the product of increasingly stringent social norms. The medical gaze, systems of quantification, rubrics of ‘normality,’ eugenics, intelligence testing–each of these tools of science have reinforced hierarchies of difference while devaluing the experiences of persons with non-conforming bodies and brains. In this course we explore this fairly recent history, focusing on the experiences of people with a range of disabilities through the prism of modern science, medicine, and technology. From prosthetic limbs to neuro-enhancing drugs, we examine how nineteenth and twentieth century sciences have shaped definitions and experiences of disability. Course topics include the nineteenth-century ‘invention’ of disability, medicalization and eugenics, access and infrastructure, social versus medical models of disability, notions of control and able-bodiedness, and the rise of disability activism in the final quarter of the twentieth century. WR, HU
* HIST 362Jb, The Colombian Conflict in Historical Perspective Timothy Lorek
The current moment of peace and reckoning with decades of violence in Colombia offers an opportunity to examine the historical contours of that long-running conflict. Using the recent peace negotiations between the FARC and the government of Juan Manuel Santos as the launching point, we evaluate the historical roots of conflict and violence in Colombia, dating back to the nineteenth century but focusing most in-depth on the period after 1946, the date typically associated with the beginning of the period known as la Violencia. We situate conflict in Colombia's geographic, cultural, and ethnic complexities and explore themes ranging from land tenure and land reform to agricultural modernization, capitalism, the reach of the state and social services, urbanization, political parties, drugs, and hemispheric relations. WR, HU
* HIST 372Ja / ER&M 342a / LAST 372a, Revolutionary Change and Cold War in Latin America Gilbert Joseph
Analysis of revolutionary movements in Latin America against the backdrop of the Cold War. Critical examination of popular images and orthodox interpretations. An interdisciplinary study of the process of revolutionary change and cold war at the grassroots level. WR, HU
* HIST 382Ja, Vietnamese History from Earliest Times to 1920 Benedict Kiernan
Evolution of a Vietnamese national identity, from Chinese colonization to medieval statehood, to French conquest and capitalist development. The roles of Confucianism, Buddhism, gender, and ethnicity in the Southeast Asian context. WR, HU
* HIST 387Ja / AFST 487a, West African Islam: Jihad Tradition and Its Pacifist Opponents Lamin Sanneh
The influence of Islam on state and society, and the encounters of Muslim Africans first with non-Muslim societies in Africa and then with the modern West in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Focus on Muslim religious attitudes and responses to the secular national state and to the Western tradition of the separation of church and state. WR, HU
* HIST 388Ja / AFST 486a, Slavery and the Slave Trade in Africa Robert Harms
The slave trade from the African perspective. Analysis of why slavery developed in Africa and how it operated. The long-term social, political, and economic effects of the Atlantic slave trade. WR, HU
* HIST 420Jb / HUMS 237b / PLSC 334b, Liberalism Mordechai Levy-Eichel
What is liberalism? And why do arguments about it stand at the epicenter of our political life? Is it a political idea (and what are ideas in politics, anyways?), or is it a philosophy that tries to carve out a space apart from high politics—and is that even possible? Is it about rights, or about equality? Is it about freedom and liberty, or laws and regulations? (And why are these dichotomies anyways)? Is it ancient? Is it modern? Can we even define what liberalism means, or does the attempt to do so in some way even miss the point? This class is a historical, philosophical, and political examination of one of the most important and contested ideas in the modern world. We read both critics and advocates of liberalism. We also examine it historically, sociologically, and comparatively, in order to gain a better sense of what it means in practice, and how that differs from the theories of both some of it’s most strong supporters and defenders, and critics. Special attention is paid to the development of the ethos and examples of liberalism. This course is also be a meditation on how to study politics and political theory. What does liberalism mean, and how should we examine it? Where did it come from, and how has it changed over time? SO
* HIST 429Jb / HSHM 412b, Laboratory Life Chitra Ramalingam
The laboratory is the iconic space of modern science, where unruly nature is tamed and controlled, and scientific facts are made. Through historical, ethnographic, and sociological approaches to lab science, this course explores how an obscure, secretive site for managing alchemical labor in medieval Europe became the globally dominant mode of producing universal experimental knowledge across the modern sciences. We consider issues of labor, skill and class; gender and race; pedagogy and the politics of profession; state, industrial, and corporate laboratories; secrecy and openness; place and geography; and the implication of labs in geopolitical webs of power, inequality, and exploitation. Undergraduate enrollment limited to juniors and seniors. WR, HU
* HIST 482Jb / GLBL 342b / PLSC 321b, Studies in Grand Strategy I Beverly Gage, Bryan Garsten, and Ian Johnson
The study of grand strategy, of how individuals and groups can accomplish large ends with limited means. The spring term focuses on key moments in history that illustrate strategic thinking in action. During the summer, students undertake research projects or internships analyzing strategic problems or aspects of strategy. The following fall, students put their ideas into action by applying concepts of grand strategy to present day issues. Admission is by application only; the cycle for the current year is closed. This course does not fulfill the history seminar requirement, but may count toward geographical distributional credit within the History major for any region studied, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. Previous study courses in political science, history, global affairs, or subjects with broad interdisciplinary relevance encouraged. HU, SO
* HIST 483Ja / GLBL 344 / PLSC 161a, Studies in Grand Strategy II Beverly Gage and Ian Johnson
The study of grand strategy, of how individuals and groups can accomplish large ends with limited means. During the fall term, students put into action the ideas studied in the spring term by applying concepts of grand strategy to present day issues. Admission is by application only; the cycle for the current year is closed. This course does not fulfill the history seminar requirement, but may count toward geographical distributional credit within the History major for any region studied, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. Prerequisite: PLSC 321. Previous study courses in political science, history, global affairs, or subjects with broad interdisciplinary relevance encouraged. SO
* HIST 491Jb / EVST 368b / HSHM 479b / RLST 368b, The History of the Earth from Noah to Darwin Ivano Dal Prete
Young earth creationism and flood geology have long been among the most divisive features of American culture and politics. Yet a basic postulate is shared across the spectrum: for better or worse, the old age of the Earth is regarded as the recent product of a secular science, consistently rejected by traditional Christianity. This seminar challenges this long-established narrative, by uncovering the surprising boldness, complexity, and societal diffusion of pre-modern debates on the history of the Earth, and of humankind itself. Students have opportunity to explore the nature, assumptions, and methods of Earth sciences before the advent of modern geology, to question ingrained assumptions about their relation to religion and society, and to place outstanding issues into historical perspective. How have the great monotheistic religions dealt with the possibility of an ancient Earth? Was a young creation always important in traditional Christianity? If not, what led to the emergence of young Earth creationism as a force to be reckoned with? What are the intellectual roots of American preadamism, which claims that the black and white races were created at different times and do not descend from the same ancestor? These and other questions are addressed not only through scholarly literature in the field, but also with the analysis of literary, visual, and material sources available on campus. WR, HU
Writing Tutorial and Senior Essay Courses
* HIST 494a or b, Individual Writing Tutorial Edward Rugemer
For students who wish, under the supervision of a member of the faculty, to investigate an area of history not covered by regular departmental offerings. The course may be used for research or for directed reading. It is normally taken only once. The emphasis of the tutorial is on writing a long essay or several short ones. To apply for admission, a student should present the following materials to the director of undergraduate studies on the Friday before schedules are due: a prospectus of the work proposed, a bibliography, and a letter of support from a member of the History department faculty who will direct the tutorial. A form to simplify this process is available from the office of the director of undergraduate studies.
* HIST 495a or b and HIST 496a or b, The Senior Essay Carolyn Dean
All senior History majors should attend the mandatory senior essay meeting in early September at a time and location to be announced in the online Senior Essay Handbook. The senior essay is a required one- or two-term independent research project conducted under the guidance of a faculty adviser. As a significant work of primary-source research, it serves as the capstone project of the History major. Students writing the one-term senior essay enroll in HIST 497 (see description), not HIST 495 and 496. The two-term essay takes the form of a substantial article, not longer than 12,500 words (approximately forty to fifty double-spaced typewritten pages). This is a maximum limit; there is no minimum requirement. Length will vary according to the topic and the historical techniques employed. Students writing the two-term senior essay who expect to graduate in May enroll in HIST 495 during the fall term and complete their essays in HIST 496 in the spring term. December graduates enroll in HIST 495 in the spring term and complete their essays in HIST 496 during the following fall term; students planning to begin their essay in the spring term should notify the senior essay director by early December. Each student majoring in History must present a completed Statement of Intention, signed by a department member who has agreed to serve as adviser, to the History Department Undergraduate Registrar by the dates indicated in the Senior Essay Handbook. Blank statement forms are available from the History Undergraduate Registrar and in the Senior Essay handbook. Students enrolled in HIST 495 submit to the administrator in 237 HGS a two-to-three-page analysis of a single primary source, a draft bibliographic essay, and at least ten pages of the essay by the deadlines listed in the Senior Essay Handbook. Those who meet these requirements receive a temporary grade of SAT for the fall term, which will be changed to the grade received by the essay upon its completion. Failure to meet any requirement may result in the student’s being asked to withdraw from HIST 495. Students enrolled in HIST 496 must submit a completed essay to 211 HGS no later than 5 p.m. on the dates indicated in the Senior Essay Handbook. Essays submitted after 5 p.m. will be considered as having been turned in on the following day. If the essay is submitted late without an excuse from the student's residential college dean, the penalty is one letter grade for the first day and one-half letter grade for each of the next two days past the deadline. No essay that would otherwise pass will be failed because it is late, but late essays will not be considered for departmental or Yale College prizes. All senior departmental essays will be judged by members of the faculty other than the adviser. In order to graduate from Yale College, a student majoring in History must achieve a passing grade on the departmental essay.
* HIST 497a or b, One-Term Senior Essay Carolyn Dean
All senior History majors should attend the mandatory senior essay meeting in early September at a time and location to be announced in the online Senior Essay Handbook. The senior essay is a required one- or two-term independent research project conducted under the guidance of a faculty adviser. As a significant work of primary-source research, it serves as the capstone project of the History major. Seniors writing a two-term senior essay do not register for HIST 497; instead, they register for HIST 495 and HIST 496 (see description). History majors may choose to write a one-term independent senior essay in the first term of their senior year and register for HIST 497; however, students who choose the one-term senior essay option are not eligible for Distinction in the Major. The one-term essay must include a substantial research paper of no more than 6,250 words (approximately twenty-five pages) based on primary sources, along with a bibliographic essay and bibliography. Seniors enroll during the fall term of senior year; only History majors graduating in December may enroll during the spring term (or seventh term of enrollment). In rare circumstances, with the permission of the adviser and the Senior Essay Director, a student enrolled in HIST 497 during the fall term may withdraw from the course according to Yale College regulations on course withdrawal and enroll in the spring term. Each student enrolled in HIST 497 must present a completed Statement of Intention, signed by a department member who has agreed to serve as adviser, to the History Department Undergraduate Registrar by the dates indicated in the Senior Essay Handbook. Blank statement forms are available from the History Undergraduate Registrar and in the Senior Essay Handbook, available on the History department Web site. Additional details about the senior essay, including the submission deadlines are included in the Senior Essay Handbook. Essays submitted after 5 p.m. on the due date will be considered as having been turned in on the following day. If the essay is submitted late without an excuse from the student's residential college dean, the penalty is one letter grade for the first day and one-half letter grade for each of the next two days past the deadline. No essay that would otherwise pass will be failed because it is late. All senior departmental essays will be judged by members of the faculty other than the adviser. In order to graduate from Yale College, a student majoring in History must achieve a passing grade on the departmental essay. Permission of the departmental Senior Essay Director and of the student’s faculty adviser is required for enrollment.