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Summer 2018 Course Offerings

Course Descriptions

115.01, 30005 MTWRF 8:30-12:00, Piccione - MAYMESTER

World History in Hollywood Films. This course provides a survey of selected civilizations in pre-modern world history. It focuses on de-constructing mythologies, false perceptions and popular misconceptions about those civilizations by examining popular Hollywood films and foreign cinematic spectacles. Students will study and discuss specific historical issues as they are properly understood from original primary sources, view the films and analyze discrepancies between fact and fiction by asking pertinent historical questions and applying proper historical methodology. At the same time, students will consider the efficacy and value of filmic history, which is an emerging field of professional historiography that advocates fictionalized historical films to recreate and understand historical processes. The course will study the strengths and limitations of film entertainment as a medium of historical expression. There is also the issue to consider the extent to which screenwriting--and its strict requisites--are compatible with the stringent requirements of historical writing and research. Hence, students will consider to what extent historical films might or might not portray an accurate view of the past, as well as how history itself--in film and elsewhere--is often distorted for a variety of reasons, including: dramatic license for entertainment purposes, to propagandize particular interpretations, to advocate change, as well as to accommodate a society's needs to sanitize and/or mythologize its (or another's) past, or else to indict or criminalize it.

115.02, 30129 MTWRF 10:15-12:15, Coy - SUMMER I

Explaining the Universe: Magic, Religion, and Society in the West. This course examines the development of Western Civilization from the Neolithic period to the eighteenth century, with a special focus on supernatural beliefs and changing conceptions of magic, religion, and science.

115.03, 30409 ONLINE, Mikati - SUMMER I

Intertwined Histories: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This course presents an 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 1500 C.E.

115.04, 30685 ONLINE, Bryan Ganaway - SUMMER I

Pre-Modern History. This course explores the development of Western Identity in the pre-modern world via the metaphor of the road.  On the one hand, the Voice Thread lectures will begin in the Middle East and Africa to remind us that all the things we associate with Western Civilization (organized religion, cities, agriculture, monarchies, warfare developed outside of Europe.  The texts we read will look at individuals on the road.  They may be in search of truth, or a path home, or new worlds.  Our main conceptual goal will be to try and understand Western Civilization as a series of networks of people, goods, and ideas along which identity developed.  What we will see is that the most dynamic civilizations of the west were also the ones most permeable to outsiders.  We will reflect on the lessons of pre-modern Western Civilization for our own society in the twenty-first century.

115.05, 30686 ONLINE, Cavalli - SUMMER II

Sex and the Body in the Premodern Europe. This course is an introduction to the history of gender and sexuality from the ancient to the early modern period in Europe. It explores political, religious, intellectual, social, cultural, and medical influences on the organization and regulation of ideas about the sexed body. It considers topics such as witchcraft, marriage and courtship, holy virginity and mysticism, widowhood, prostitution, and the way ideas about gender and sexuality organized institutions and communities. It asks the questions: what is the relationship between gender, sexuality, and understandings of the body? How have claims about gender and sexuality fueled religious, political, social, and scientific debate? What are the roles of religion, the state, and the family in shaping ideas about femininity and masculinity?

115.06, 30202 MTWRF 10:15-12:15, Slater - SUMMER II

Women, Gender and Sex in the Pre-Modern WorldOver the course of the semester we as a class will be discussing the role of women and gender in relation to the rise of Western Civilization in the pre-modern world.  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 sexuality.  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.

116.01, 30006 MTWRF 8:30-12:00, Boucher - MAYMESTER

Western Representations of Native Americans. This course will survey the history of Western societies from the Renaissance to the present 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, 30007 MTWRF 12:30-2:30, 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 the complicated relationships between Enlightenment ideas of liberty and equality and the struggle for their application in Europe and America. The focus will be on gendered and racial liberties. The breadth of this course prohibits depth in all areas, but we will specifically engage a series of historical topics/moments related to gender and race in politics, society, culture, the arts, and war as well as the history of modern sexualities.  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), documentaries, and discussion.  You will be expected to have read the course material before attending class. 

116.05, 30393 ONLINE, Irina Gigova Ganaway - SUMMER I

FROM SUBJECT TO CITIZEN: Individual and State in Modern Europe. This course seeks a conversation about where we are as a society and how we got here. Through primary sources, lectures and discussions, we will explore the rights and duties of Westerners (for our purposes, Europeans) as they changed from subjects to citizens of their countries. Over the course of the semester we will explore the emergence and the changes in the 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 changed in response? While our focus will be on Europe, we want to continually ask about the impact and consequences of its history on other parts of the world, including the United States.

116.06, 30401 ONLINE, Steere-Williams - SUMMER II

Epidemics and Revolutions: Disease in Modern Society. In this introductory course we will ask the fascinating historical question of how the social experience and cultural understanding of disease has 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’.

210.02, 30684 MTWRF, 10:15-12:15, Slater - SUMMER I

History of American Sexualities. The increase of studies and activism related to gender and sexualities in America prompts questions about situating sexuality historically. This course is designed to offer an overview of how politics and society have (mis)understood variant sexualities over the course of history from the colonial period to the present.  We will survey the development of themes such as prostitution, “deviance,” reproductive choices, scientific understandings of sexualities, interactions between gendered cultures, and the role of sexual identities in the modern world.  The incorporation of a variety of medias including print, memoir, letter, advertisement, film, literature provides an interdisciplinary approach to historical content.  

210.04, 30127 MTWRF, 8:30-12:00, Poole - MAYMESTER

Horror Film & 20th Century American History. What frightened audiences about Frankenstein in 1931 when most don't find it particularly scary now? Did Jaws help Americans forget Vietnam? What does 9/11 have to do with zombie film? Does Get Out tell us something about the Black Lives Matter movement? This class examines 20th c. American history  by thinking about how horror films intersect with a variety of social, political, and cultural events. We will think critically about how these films, and related traditional sources, act as primary historical sources and what they reveal about key events, cultural ideologies and moral panics in the American historical experience.

225.01, 30683 MTWRF, 8:30-12:00, Ingram - MAYMESTER

History of the South since 1865. A study of the transition from slave to free-labor society, the emergence of sharecropping, agrarian movements, the rise of segregation, the collapse of the plantation system and the modernization of Southern society since 1940.

241.01, 30463 Study Abroad - Olejniczak - MAYMESTER

Europe and Great Britain in the 20th Century. This special study abroad program places students in the historic heart of London for a full month. Our focus will be on the changing map of Europe and what Brexit means for the EU, GB, and Scotland. Excursions include historic museums and sites of WWI and WWII in the UK, a three day visit to Edinburgh, Scotland, discussions with on-site experts on the pressing issues of immigration, globalization, environmental policy, sustainability, and the future of the UK.

270.01, 30404 MTWRF, 8:30-12:00, Jestice - MAYMESTER

The Real Vikings. Hollywood and TV (not to mention football franchises) have done some strange things to Vikings over the years.  This course will examine these stereotypes and why we have them while exploring the reality of the Viking onslaught against Europe that began with the pillaging of the monastery of Lindisfarne in A.D. 794.  We will discuss why the age of Viking raids began,  how the nature of Viking piracy gradually transformed to conquest and settlement, the role of Scandinavian religion in the Viking attacks, and so much more.

347.01, 30746 Study Abroad, Delay - Summer I

Gender and Sexuality in Irish Culture and History. The program will be based at Dublin City University (DCU) in Dublin, Ireland. Students will live in DCU dorms and attend classes in a DCU classroom. There will be several day trips in and around Dublin, most using public transportation, as well as an extended excursion outside of Dublin. Students will have the opportunity to partake in optional urban and rural hiking.