A History of the World
Professor/InstructorJeremy Ian Adelman
An overview of world history. Begins with Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire, which collided peoples, goods, and ideas across the Eurasian landmass, and traces the global transformations that connected or disconnected societies through time. The dynamism of Asia; environmental specificities of Africa and the Americas; slavery and other links across the Atlantic; the surprise onset of European predominance; colonialism, anti-colonialism, globalization. What is the past and future of Islam? How is China's staggering wealth up to 1750 and its recent ascent explained? Where did the U.S. come from and where is it going? Two lectures, one preceptorial.
History of East Asia to 1800
Professor/InstructorThomas Donald Conlan, Willard James Peterson
General introduction to major themes in the cultural, intellectual, and institutional history of China and Japan, with some attention to Korea and Southeast Asia. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
East Asia since 1800
Professor/InstructorJanet Y. Chen, Federico Marcon
The civilizations of East Asia at the beginning of the modern era; the impact of the West; the contrasting responses of China, Japan, and Korea to the confrontation; the development of the present societies. Assignments will be drawn from contemporary sources as well as from secondary accounts. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Europe from Antiquity to 1700
Professor/InstructorAnthony Thomas Grafton
The course deals with four main topics: the Greek city-state, the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity, the formation of medieval European society, and the Renaissance and Reformation. Emphasis will be laid on those social, political, intellectual, and religious developments that contributed most directly to forming modern European civilization. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Europe in the World: Monarchies, Nations, and Empires from 1776 to the Present Day
Professor/InstructorDavid Nicholas Cannadine
The emergence of modern societies from the Europe of the Old Regimes. Emphasis on problems and themes, including the French and Industrial Revolutions, nationalism, science and its discontents, popular culture, the mass movements of revolution and war. Intended as an introduction to Europe for students with little background in history. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Archaic and Classical Greece
Professor/InstructorMarc Domingo Gygax
A formative episode in Western civilization: the Greeks from the rise of the city-state, through the conflict between Athens and Sparta, to the emergence of Macedon in the fourth century B.C. Emphasis on cultural history, political thought, and the development of techniques of historical interpretation through analysis of original sources (Herodotus, Thucydides, and others). Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Greek World in the Hellenistic Age
The Greek experience from Alexander the Great through Cleopatra. An exploration of the dramatic expansion of the Greek world into the Near East brought about by the conquests and achievements of Alexander. Study of the profound political, social, and intellectual changes that stemmed from the interaction of the cultures, and the entrance of Greece into the sphere of Rome. Readings include history, biography, religious narrative, comedy, and epic poetry. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Roman Republic
Professor/InstructorDan-El Padilla Peralta
A study of the causes and unforeseen consequences of one small city-state's rise to world-empire, primarily through the analysis of ancient sources (including Livy, Polybius, Caesar, and Cicero) in translation. Emphasis on the development of Roman society and the evolution, triumph, and collapse of the republican government that it produced. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Roman Empire, 31 B.C. to A.D. 337
Professor/InstructorHarriet Isabel Flower
A study of the profound transformation of Rome by the multicultural empire it had conquered, ending with the triumph of Christianity. Emphasis on typical social and cultural institutions and on the legacies of Rome to us. Ancient sources in translation include documents, histories, letters, and novels. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages
An introduction to the history and culture of the Jews in the Middle Ages (under Islam and Christendom) covering, comparatively, such topics as the interrelationship between Judaism and the other two religions, interreligious polemics, political (legal) status, economic role, communal self-government, family life, and cultural developments. Two 90-minute classes.
Introduction to the Middle East
Professor/InstructorMichael Allan Cook
An overview of the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day with a focus on the "core" of the Middle East, i.e., the region defined by present-day Turkey and Egypt to the west, Iran to the east, and Arabia to the south. Issues raised include difficulties in the study of foreign cultures, religion and society, the interplay between local and global processes, identity formation, and the Middle East in the broader world. One lecture, two classes.
The Perception of China and Asia in the West
Professor/InstructorBenjamin A. Elman
Presents some of the major themes in the Western perception of China since 1250, from Marco Polo to Chairman Mao, and introduces students to the nature of history and historical writing. Students will be challenged to conduct their own critical historiographical analysis. Readings will focus on primary sources in translation and relevant secondary studies. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Islamic World from its Emergence to the Beginnings of Westernization
Professor/InstructorMichael Allan Cook
Begins with the formation of the traditional Islamic world in the seventh century and ends with the first signs of its transformation under Western impact in the 18th century. The core of the course is the history of state formation in the Middle East, but other regions and themes make significant appearances. The course can stand on its own or serve as background to the study of the modern Islamic world. Two 90-minute classes.
Approaches to American History
Professor/InstructorKevin Michael Kruse
An intensive introduction to concepts, methods, and issues in American history, especially recommended for prospective concentrators. The problems investigated in the course (the Revolution, class and cultural relations, literature and society, and others) will vary. Emphasis will be on the framing of historical questions and immersion in the actual sources of history. One lecture, two classes.
A Documents-based Approach to Asian History
An intensive, documents-based introduction to methods and issues in Asian history, focusing on topics that embed Asia in the wider context of world history. Especially recommended for prospective concentrators. The problems investigated (Marco Polo in Asia, Jesuits in China, Russo-Japanese War, Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, etc.) will vary. Emphasis will be on interpreting primary sources, framing historical questions, and constructing historical explanations. Two 90-minute classes.
The Scientific Worldview of Antiquity and the Middle Ages
The emergence and development of natural philosophy in ancient Greece, with consideration of its Egyptian and Babylonian background and its subsequent articulation and modification in the medieval worlds of Islam and Western Europe. Emphasis is placed on the interplay of science and culture. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Scientific Revolution and European Order, 1500-1750
Beliefs about the nature of the universe, the Earth, and even the human body changed drastically during the early modern period. This course examines this transformation of natural knowledge as a process of both social and intellectual reorganization. Explores how Europeans developed a new mechanistic science for astronomy, physics, and medicine with a dynamic culture of new institutions and technologies. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Science in the Modern World
Professor/InstructorMichael D. Gordin
The evolution of science since Newton. Emphasis is placed on the major developments of scientific theory and practice since the chemical revolution of the late 18th century. Topics considered will also include: the development of science as a discipline; the connections between science and mathematics, philosophy, and technology; and the emergence of science as an integral part of modern societies. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Science in a Global Context: 15th to 20th Century
Professor/InstructorD. Graham Burnett
Science and technology have literally changed the world. This course examines how, with an emphasis on understanding the place of scientific knowledge in the history of European exploration and expanding global power. How did the sciences go out into the world? How did certain disciplines and practices take shape in global interactions since 1400? How does knowledge become universal? What instruments, institutions, and activities made this possible? Two 90-minute classes.
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities
This team-taught seminar examines texts, objects, periods and themes from an interdisciplinary perspective. Although designed to be the capstone course for students pursuing a certificate in Humanistic Studies, it is open to other students if space is available. The specific topic varies each year depending on the focus of the faculty team.
Colonial Latin America to 1810
Professor/InstructorVera Silvina Candiani
The principal themes of Iberian imperialism and colonial society from preconquest to the eve of independence. The main issues to be covered will be: Amerindian civilization, the conquest of the Americas, social and cultural change, and evolving economic relations. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Modern Latin America since 1810
Professor/InstructorRobert A. Karl
A survey of Latin America from the wars of independence to recent struggles for democracy. The focus will be on state formation in the 19th century, relations with the world economy, and changing patterns of social and political life in the 20th century. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
History of the Modern Caribbean
Professor/InstructorRobert A. Karl, Reena N. Goldthree
This course treats major themes in Caribbean social and political history cutting across the various empires, nations, and cultures that have shaped the region. It focuses on slavery and freedom during the 19th century and imperialism, authoritarianism, revolution, migration, and transnationalism in the 20th century. Race, ethnicity, and nation are explored throughout the course. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
History of Modern Mexico
Professor/InstructorVera Silvina Candiani
This course studies Mexico between two historic defeats: that of the mid-19th century, when it lost half of its territory to the United States, and the defeat of the PRI's single-party regime at the polls in 2000 after over 70 years of uneasy rule. Topics include Mexico's transition from the richest colony in the Americas to a nation with unresolved social, economic, and political struggles; the causes of internal tension and how have different groups sought to solve them; and the question of why drug cartels have gained ground. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Religion in Colonial America and the New Nation
Professor/InstructorSeth A. Perry
Intellectual and cultural aspects of American religion from the 17th century through the early republic. Special attention to early Protestant traditions (Anglican, Puritan, Quaker, and Methodist, among others), the Great Awakening, the Enlightenment, and the transformation of religion through the Revolution and its shape in the new nation. Two lectures, one preceptorial.