Maymester & Summer 2020

Course Descriptions

115.03, 30229 ONLINE COURSE, Piercy: SUMMER I

Medievalism in Film - Appropriation and Interpretation. In this course we will watch, read about, and discuss films which use historically based source material to tell their story. Some of these films were blockbusters, while others were not very widely distributed or known. Some of them are recent, while others date from the early twentieth century. With the help of both secondary and primary sources, we will gain an awareness of the medieval period on which these films are based. However, we will move beyond simply noting whether or, rather, where each film is offering a faithful or an unfaithful representation of history. Rather, we will attempt to understand what attracted modern filmmakers to medieval history in the first place and what concerns – be they artistic, political, social, religious, etc. – made them represent it in the ways that they did. There are no prerequisites for this course.

115.04, 30249 ONLINE COURSE, Mikati: SUMMER II
Intertwined Histories: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This course presents a historical survey of pre-modern civilizations and cultures through a study of the role played by religion in the rise and shaping of cultures and societies. The primary focus will be on the historical environment and central traditions of three of the main world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their near eastern environment from their inception to circa 800 C.E.

115.05, 30419 ONLINE COURSE, Mikati: SUMMER II
Intertwined Histories: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This course presents a historical survey of pre-modern civilizations and cultures through a study of the role played by religion in the rise and shaping of cultures and societies. The primary focus will be on the historical environment and central traditions of three of the main world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their near eastern environment from their inception to circa 800 C.E.

116.01, 30004 ONLINE COURSE, Boucher: MAYMESTER
Western Representations of Native Americans. This course will survey the history of Western societies from the Renaissance to the early 1990s and focus on the following question:  How have changing cultural values in the Western world shaped local perceptions of Native Americans over time?  As this class will show, Western depictions of Native Americans have often revealed more about the societies that produced them than about the indigenous peoples they intended to describe.  Whether it was during the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, or the late nineteenth century, the Western discourse on American Indians has been deeply colored by the values, anxieties, and fantasies that characterized each period.   Therefore, such representations cannot be understood without reference to the historical context that informed them.

116.02, 30005 ONLINE COURSE, Slater: SUMMER I
Gender, Race and Sexualities in the Modern West. Over the course of the semester we as a class will be discussing the role of women, gender, race, and sexualities in relation to the rise of Western Civilization. The focus will be on gendered liberties. Studying the various roles of women and their relationships to men provide a unique lens through which to understand the rise of Europe and the Western world.  The breadth of this course prohibits depth in all areas, but we will specifically engage women’s role in politics, society, culture, the arts, and war as well as the history of modern sexualities. This class is intersectional, so we will also be addressing issues of class and race.  You will be expected to engage a variety of works and ideas, contributing your own ideas and observations.  This course will be a combination of lecture (PowerPoint) and discussion.  You will be expected to have read the course material before attending class.

116.03, 30296 ONLINE COURSE, Gigova: SUMMER II
From Subjects to Citizens: Individual Rights in Modern Europe. This course seeks a conversation about where we are as a society and how we got here. In particular, we will think about the rights and duties of Westerners (for our brief purposes, Europeans) as they progressed from subjects of monarchs to citizens of their countries. Over four weeks we will explore the emergence of ideas of rights and the changing meaning of citizenship. In the process, we will ask: How have European society and state evolved over time? How has the relationship of individuals to the state transformed in response? What social groups were in charge at various stages in the past? When and how did the principle of equality apply to all members of society?

116.04, 30428 ONLINE COURSE, Steere-Williams: MAYMESTER
Epidemics and Revolutions. The recent global epidemic crisis of coronavirus and Ebola provides a backdrop for the fascinating historical questions we will ask in this course, of how the social experience and cultural understanding of disease have shaped modern global history. We will explore how both chronic and infectious diseases have played a fundamental role in the development of modern modes of governance, public health, modern technologies, and a global economy. We will also examine how disease illuminates social attitudes about class, race, and colonialism in the period from the Enlightenment to the present. Using diverse examples such as cholera outbreaks in Europe, bubonic plague in India, syphilis in Africa, yellow fever in North America and the Caribbean, and HIV/AIDS across the globe, this course demonstrates that the historical analysis of disease is integral to understanding both ‘modernity’ and ‘globalization’. 

116.05, 30653 ONLINE COURSE, Ingram: SUMMER I
The U.S. and the World in the American Century. Why did American automaker Henry Ford spend millions to build a town in the Amazon rainforest? How did the U.S. and the Soviet Union go from being allies to enemies in the span of just a few short years? What was African decolonization and how can it help us to better understand the U.S.'s role in the Vietnam War? Each week in this course, we will tackle questions like these. Using lectures, books, archival materials, and active discussion sessions, we'll learn to think critically about the U.S.'s role as a global power from the late nineteenth century to the present.

116.06, 30226 ONLINE COURSE, Slater: SUMMER II
Gender, Race and Sexualities in the Modern West. Over the course of the semester we as a class will be discussing the role of women, gender, race, and sexualities in relation to the rise of Western Civilization. The focus will be on gendered liberties. Studying the various roles of women and their relationships to men provide a unique lens through which to understand the rise of Europe and the Western world.  The breadth of this course prohibits depth in all areas, but we will specifically engage women’s role in politics, society, culture, the arts, and war as well as the history of modern sexualities. This class is intersectional, so we will also be addressing issues of class and race.  You will be expected to engage a variety of works and ideas, contributing your own ideas and observations.  This course will be a combination of lecture (PowerPoint) and discussion.  You will be expected to have read the course material before attending class.

116.07, 30654 ONLINE COURSE, Steere-Williams: SUMMER I
Epidemics and Revolutions. The recent global epidemic crisis of coronavirus and Ebola provides a backdrop for the fascinating historical questions we will ask in this course, of how the social experience and cultural understanding of disease have shaped modern global history. We will explore how both chronic and infectious diseases have played a fundamental role in the development of modern modes of governance, public health, modern technologies, and a global economy. We will also examine how disease illuminates social attitudes about class, race, and colonialism in the period from the Enlightenment to the present. Using diverse examples such as cholera outbreaks in Europe, bubonic plague in India, syphilis in Africa, yellow fever in North America and the Caribbean, and HIV/AIDS across the globe, this course demonstrates that the historical analysis of disease is integral to understanding both ‘modernity’ and ‘globalization’.

116.08, 30802 ONLINE COURSE, Ingram: SUMMER II
The U.S. and the World in the American Century. Why did American automaker Henry Ford spend millions to build a town in the Amazon rainforest? How did the U.S. and the Soviet Union go from being allies to enemies in the span of just a few short years? What was African decolonization and how can it help us to better understand the U.S.'s role in the Vietnam War? Each week in this course, we will tackle questions like these. Using lectures, books, archival materials, and active discussion sessions, we'll learn to think critically about the U.S.'s role as a global power from the late nineteenth century to the present.

221.01, 30655 ONLINE COURSE, Slater: SUMMER II
History of American Women. This course provides a thorough exploration of women’s role in British North America in the colonial period, as well as American women from Independence to the present.  Topics include historiography to better understand how historians approach this topic, but the majority focus on how women engaged in daily life, culture, political systems, and forms of protest.  Covering roughly 1600-present, this overarching survey also includes the roles of women from African American, Native American, and other racial minorities as well as those who identify with elements of the queer community.  Students are expected to read critically several articles, primary materials, 3 monographs, and a textbook and participate actively in conversation.  This course combines both lecture and discussion and assessment is based on written exams, source analysis, participation, and exams.

241.01, 30353 ONLINE COURSE, Bodek: MAYMESTER
Special Topic: The Third Reich in History and Popular Culture. This course is designed to do two things. First, as a history course, it will examine issues central to the Third Reich’s history. These include: How did the Nazi Party emerge? Who supported the Nazis? What caused the sudden rise in popularity of National Socialism? How do historians interpret Nazism and the Third Reich? What was the structure of the Third Reich? What kind of world did the Nazi Party envisage? What was Nazi Culture? Why did Nazi Germany start a world war? How and why did the Holocaust occur? It will also look at the Third Reich in culture.  We will examine television shows, films, and other examples of popular culture that portray the Nazis to see what Hitler and the Nazis have represented from the 1920s until the present.

270.01, 30227 ONLINE COURSE, Jestice: MAYMESTER
Special Topic: The War of the Roses. England in the fifteenth century was a mess.  An extended civil war grew out of the crucible of defeat in the long war with France, exacerbated by a king sometimes described as “a useful political vegetable”---an impossible situation in an era of personal monarchy.  In the course of thirty years, England saw FIVE kings overthrown by force, as well as usurpations, murder, shockingly bloody battles, and the eventual triumph of that unlikely king, Henry Tudor.  This course will untangle the snarled and gruesome history of this period, but will also go behind the scenes and consider why England suffered these political upheavals in the world of the early Renaissance and the breakdown of medieval political axioms.