Courses in History (Division 390)

100-Level Courses are Survey Courses and Introductory Courses for Freshmen and Sophomores

122/Asian Studies 122. Modern Transformation of East Asia. (3). (SS).

The course treats the modern experience of the societies of China, Japan, and Korea. We shall discuss comparatively the social and political orders in each country in their Asian context, before the advent of a powerful Western intrusion, and then explore the ways that these old civilizations handled the new calculus of power in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will attempt a broad look at the many sources of change and the varieties of their expression in the modern period. Topics will include reform and revolution, colonialism and liberation, racism directed both against and by Asians, the changing roles of women, and the economic transformation of recent decades. Readings will be drawn from historical narratives and translated expressions of East Asian voices. There will be a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:1 (Young)

200-Level Courses are for Sophomores and Upper Class Students

218. The Vietnam War, 1945-1975. (3). (SS).

This course examines the wars that were fought in and around Vietnam from 1945 to 1975, with primary emphasis on the period of heavy American involvement from the mid-1950's. The course seeks to explain the origins, strategy, and impact of U.S. intervention. At the same time the course will explain the motivation of the Vietnam Communists and of their domestic opponents. Thus the Vietnam war will be analyzed both as the longest and most controversial foreign war in American history, and as the climax to an Asian social revolution. Meets three times a week for 50 minutes, plus one 50-minute discussion section. Midterm and final exam. Cost:3 WL:4 (Lieberman)

300-Level Courses and Above are for Juniors and Seniors

319. Europe Since 1945. (3). (SS).

The aim of this course is to provide a comprehensive critical introduction to European society, culture and politics since the Second World War. Lectures and readings will cover both Eastern and Western Europe, the international arena and the national histories of particular countries, and social and cultural life as well as political developments. The course aims to explore the shaping of the contemporary world and to introduce students to societies and political cultures which are both structurally similar and fundamentally different from their own. Instruction will be via lectures and ad hoc discussion, evaluation via midterm exam and end of term essay. No special background is required; prejudices and preconceptions about European societies are enough. Cost:3-4 WL:2 (Eley)

391. Topics in European History. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 101 Europe in WWII.
This course will focus on the politics of World War II in Europe. Thus after a rapid survey of the course of the war it will focus on the political issues, in particular resistance movements and their relations with the three allied powers. Countries focused on for case studies will include France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Requirements are an essay type hour exam, a course paper (with flexibility of topic) and an essay final. (J.Fine)

397. History Colloquium. History concentrators are required to elect Hist. 396 or 397. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 12 credits.
Section 101 Facing Death.
Philosophical and religious thinking about death from the Old Testament and the Greeks to the seventeenth century with one week devoted to contemporary issues. The readings touch on a variety of topics, such as resurrection of the body and immortality of the soul; judgment, reward and punishment; fear of death; the good death; and preparation for death. In addition to the obvious goal of exploring the specific topic, "facing death," the course is designed to offer a fleeting introduction to the major periods and some of the most important thinkers of the western intellectual tradition from antiquity to early-modern times. Reading in primary sources will be stressed, and will include representative texts from the following periods: Antiquity (the Old and New Testaments, Plato, Stoicism, Augustine); the middle ages (the Ars moriendi, the Imitation of Christ); and the Renaissance and Reformation (Erasmus, Luther, Montaigne, and John Donne). Twice-weekly meetings are primarily for discussion of the reading, and attendance and participation are part of the course. Students will write three short essays (three to four pages) and a longer synthetic essay (eight to ten pages), which will be the final exercise in the course. All essays are based on assigned readings, and must be submitted on schedule. (Tentler)

A course number in the 500s does not indicate a more difficult or advanced course than one in the 400s.

593. Topics in U.S. and Latin American History. Juniors, seniors and graduates. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 101 The United States Since 1945.
In 1945 Americans confronted a startlingly new world. The economy boomed. The country had a standing military spread across the globe on permanent war footing. Demands arose for further government intervention to resolve the problems of poverty and racial inequality, but many people also feared the increased powers of the American state. In this course, we will examine political, cultural, and intellectual responses to these changes. Key topics will be the Cold War; debates on domestic policy; the new art and culture that led to the counterculture; the civil rights struggle and the growing influence of African-American cultural forms and creators on mass and elite culture; the feminine mystique; new ideas about masculinity; youth culture and new attitudes about sexuality; the Vietnam War; the return of conservativism. As we consider these topics, we will attempt to evaluate one fundamental theme: How different groups of Americans assessed the relative responsibilities of individual and collective in creating a new world. Cost:3 WL:1 (Cándida Smith)


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