Fall 2020

  • HIST 100: American Farms and Food

    What’s for dinner? The answers to that question–and others like it–have never been more complicated or consequential than they are today. Behind a glance into the refrigerator or the shelves of any supermarket lie a myriad of concerns, ideas, and cultural developments that touch on everything from health and nutrition to taste, tradition, identity, time, cost, and environmental stewardship. This seminar will consider the evolution of these interconnected issues in American history, giving particular attention to the rise, inner workings, and effects of the agro-industrial food system and to contemporary movements that seek a new path forward. 6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020 · George Vrtis
  • HIST 100: Exploration, Science, and Empire

    This course provides an introduction to the global history of exploration. We will examine the scientific and artistic aspects of expeditions, and consider how scientific knowledge–navigation, medicinal treatments, or the collection of scientific specimens–helped make exploration, and subsequently Western colonialism, possible. We will also explore how the visual and literary representations of exotic places shaped distant audiences’ understandings of empire and of the so-called races of the world. Art and science helped form the politics of Western nationalism and expansion; this course will explore some of the ways in which their legacy remains with us today.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Tony Adler
  • HIST 100: Gandhi, Nationalism and Colonialism in South Asia

    The struggle for independence from colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent involved a wide array of nationalist movements, prominently including the struggle led by M. K. Gandhi, who forged a movement centered on non-violence and civil disobedience which brought down the mighty British empire. We will study this alongside numerous other powerful nationalist currents, particularly those based on Islamic ideas and symbols. A significant part of the course will involve a historical role-playing game, Reacting to the Past: Defining a Nation, wherein students will take on roles of actual historical figures and recreate a twentieth century debate about religious identity and nation-building in the colonial context.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Brendan LaRocque
  • HIST 100: Immigration, Conversion, and Cultural Change in Early England and Ireland

    In this seminar we explore dramatic cultural and religious changes that reshaped Britain and Ireland in the early Middle Ages. In particular, we will examine the complex and powerful role that outsiders and immigrants played in these transformations through a sustained conversation with voices from the past brought to life in written primary sources, objects, and images. We will work to develop our ability to read and analyze sources critically, to discern the different perspectives preserved in every source, and to formulate interpretations that do justice to the available evidence. A course goal will be to learn some of the ways to articulate uncertainties as well as arguments and claims with clarity and effectiveness. Our work will also provide opportunities to strengthen research skills and to understand better scholarly modes of argument and presentation. No previous knowledge of the Middle Ages is necessary or assumed.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · William North
  • HIST 100: Music and Politics in Europe since Wagner

    This course examines the often fraught, complicated relationship between music and politics from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth. Our field of inquiry will include all of Europe, but will particularly focus on Germany, Poland, and the Soviet Union. We will look at several composers and their legacies in considerable detail, including Beethoven, Wagner, and Shostakovich. While much of our attention will be devoted to “high” or “serious” music, we will explore developments in popular music as well.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · David Tompkins
  • HIST 100: Trials in Early America

    Women and men of all races, ethnicities, and classes passed through the courts of early America. This course will be based primarily on trial transcripts and other court papers from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America. We will use these documents as windows onto the contemporary legal, cultural, and social issues that these trials challenged. Using secondary sources, the seminar will then put these issues into the larger contexts of slavery, colonization and empire in Dutch, Spanish, French, and British America.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2020 · Serena Zabin
  • HIST 116: Intro to Indigenous Histories, 1887-present

    Many Americans grow up with a fictionalized view of Indigenous people (sometimes also called Native Americans/American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians within the U.S. context). Understanding Indigenous peoples’ histories, presents, and possible futures requires moving beyond these stereotypes and listening to Indigenous perspectives. In this class, we will begin to learn about Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island and the Pacific through tribal histories, legislation, Supreme Court cases, and personal narratives. The course will focus on the period from 1887 to 2018 with major themes including (among others) agency, resistance, resilience, settler colonialism, discrimination, and structural racism.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Meredith McCoy
  • HIST 125: African American History I: From Africa to the Civil War

    This course is a survey of early African American history. It will introduce students to major themes and events while also covering historical interpretations and debates in the field. Core themes of the course include migration, conflict, and culture. Beginning with autonomous African polities, the course traces the development of the United States through the experiences of enslaved and free African American women and men to the Civil War. The main aim of the course is for students to become familiar with key issues and developments in African American history and their centrality to understanding U.S. history.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2020 · Mike Jirik
  • HIST 135: Making and Breaking Institutions in the Middle Ages: Structure, Culture, Corruption, and Reform

    From churches and monasteries to universities, guilds, and governmental administrations, the medieval world was full of institutions. They emerged, by accident or design, to do particular kinds of work and to benefit particular persons or groups. These institutions faced hard questions like those we ask of our institutions today: How best to structure, distribute, and control power and authority? What is the place of the institution in the wider world?  How is a collective identity and ethos achieved, maintained, or transformed? How does the institution as a material community relate to the institution’s mission and culture, the institution as a concept/ideal? What characterizes good and bad leadership? Where does corruption and abuse of power come from and what motivates and advances reform? This course will explore these questions through discussion of case studies and primary sources from the medieval world as well as theoretical studies of these topics.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · William North
  • HIST 161: History of Modern South Asia from the Mughals to Modi

    This course examines the history of the Indian subcontinent from 1500 to the current day. We will study the rise and decline of the powerful and religiously eclectic Mughal Empire, the subsequent expansion of the British Empire, and the emergence of the independent nation-states of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh and their post-colonial societies. We will analyze the dramatic political, economic, and social upheavals of this era, including left-wing and right-wing movements, and developments among Hindu, Islamic, and Buddhist communities. A special focus will be given to caste-based movements for justice and equality.  

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Brendan LaRocque
  • HIST 170: Modern Latin America 1810-Present

    Modern Latin American history is marked by both violent divisions and creative cooperation, nationalist proclamations and imperialist incursions, and democratic pursuits and dictatorial repression. This course offers a survey of this complex regional history from independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century though globalization in the twenty-first century. It addresses methodological issues that include the significance of multiple historical perspectives and the interpretation of sources. It considers the relationship between individuals and larger social contexts with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, class, citizenship status, and gender. It places Latin American culture and politics in regional and global contexts. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Jennifer Schaefer
  • HIST 200: Historians for Hire

    A two-credit course in which students work with faculty oversight to complete a variety of public history projects with community partners. Students will work on a research project requiring them to identify and analyze primary sources, draw conclusions from the primary source research, and share their research with the appropriate audience in an appropriate form. We meet once a week at Carleton to ensure students maintain professional standards and strong relationships in their work. Potential projects include educational programming, historical society archival work, and a variety of local history opportunities. 

    2 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Tony Adler
  • HIST 205: American Environmental History

    Environmental concerns, conflicts, and change mark the course of American history, from the distant colonial past to our own day. This course will consider the nature of these eco-cultural developments, focusing on the complicated ways that human thought and perception, culture and society, and natural processes and biota have all combined to forge Americans’ changing relationship with the natural world. Topics will include Native American subsistence strategies, Euroamerican settlement, industrialization, urbanization, consumption, and the environmental movement. As we explore these issues, one of our overarching goals will be to develop an historical context for thinking deeply about contemporary environmental dilemmas. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020, Spring 2021 · George Vrtis
  • HIST 229: Working with Gender in U.S. History

    Historically work has been a central location for the constitution of gender identities for both men and women; at the same time, cultural notions of gender have shaped the labor market. We will investigate the roles of race, class, and ethnicity in shaping multiple sexual divisions of labor and the ways in which terms such as skill, bread-winning and work itself were gendered. Topics will include domestic labor, slavery, industrialization, labor market segmentation, protective legislation, and the labor movement. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Annette Igra
  • HIST 245: Ireland: Land, Conflict and Memory

    This course explores the history of Ireland from Medieval times through the Great Famine, ending with a look at the Partition of Ireland in 1920. We examine themes of religious and cultural conflict and explore a series of English political and military interventions. Throughout the course, we will analyze views of the Irish landscape, landholding patterns, and health and welfare issues. Finally, we explore the contested nature of history and memory as the class discusses monuments and memory production in Irish public spaces.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2020 · Susannah Ottaway
  • HIST 265: Central Asia in the Modern Age

    Central Asia–the region encompassing the post-Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and the Xinjiang region of the People’s Republic of China–is often considered one of the most exotic in the world, but it has experienced all the excesses of the modern age. After a basic introduction to the long-term history of the steppe, this course will concentrate on exploring the history of the region since its conquest by the Russian and Chinese empires. We will discuss the interaction of external and local forces as we explore transformations in the realms of politics, society, culture, and religion. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Adeeb Khalid
  • HIST 271: Resistance and Rights in Twentieth Century Latin American History

    Revolution, dictatorship, civil war, and armed resistance shaped twentieth century Latin American history. This course examines the Mexican Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, Argentina’s Process of National Reorganization, the Guatemalan Civil War, and indigenous uprisings in Mexico and Bolivia. It analyzes practices of inclusion and exclusion, violent repression, demands for rights, and calls for justice. Drawing on sources including memoirs, testimonies, press accounts, and literature, the course considers how participants in revolution, survivors of repression, and advocates for rights drew from international precedents and shaped their narratives in appeals for transnational solidarity.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2020 · Jennifer Schaefer
  • HIST 281: War in Modern Africa

    This course examines the causes, features, and consequences of wars across two critical phases of African history, colonial and post-colonial. It covers four cases studies from modern Central, East, and West Africa: the Congo (first under the rule of King Leopold and later the Belgian colonial government), Tanganyika (under German colonial rule), Nigeria (during the first republic through the civil war), and Uganda (under the rule of Idi Amin). Students will learn how certain memories or interpretations of events are narrated, fashioned, truncated, contested, forgotten, or silenced. Students also will learn how different historical actors participated in and experienced war.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Thabiti Willis
  • HIST 298: Junior Colloquium

    In the junior year, majors must take this six-credit reading and discussion course taught each year by different members of the department faculty. The course is also required for the History minor. The general purpose of History 298 is to help students reach a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of history as a discipline and of the approaches and methods of historians. A major who is considering off-campus study in the junior year should consult with their adviser on when to take History 298.

    Prerequisites: At least two six credit courses in History (excluding HIST 100 and Independents) at Carleton. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Adeeb Khalid, Susannah Ottaway, Serena Zabin
  • HIST 320: The Progressive Era?

    Was the Progressive Era progressive? It was a period of social reform, labor activism, and woman suffrage, but also of Jim Crow, corporate capitalism, and U.S. imperialism. These are among the topics that can be explored in research papers on this contradictory era. We will begin by reading a brief text that surveys the major subject areas and relevant historiography of the period. The course will center on the writing of a 25-30 page based on primary research, which will be read and critiqued by members of the seminar. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Annette Igra
  • HIST 331: Regional States: Boundaries and Horizons in Fourteenth-century Italy

    We will examine the development of regional states in fourteenth-century Italy.  We will explore the social, religious, political, environmental, and cultural aspects of a changing world between the medieval and the modern. The Black Death, a triad of literary greats (Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio), maps, humanism, political theory, water rights, saints, business, and travelers to and from Italy are some of the themes we will engage with as we try to understand how contemporaries conceptualized the political, spatial, and cultural boundaries of their world.  Students will conduct original research relating to the seminar topics culminating in a substantial research paper.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Victoria Morse

Winter 2021

  • HIST 128: Slavery and Universities: Past and Present

    This class examines the history of colleges and universities and their connections to the political economy of Atlantic slavery and colonialism. Students will examine how the inception and evolution of American higher education was inextricably tied to the pocketbooks of enslavers as well as how colleges and universities directly benefited from the labor of enslaved people and the dispossession of Native Americans. Students will consider questions such as what is the role of the university in society. Central to the course will be studying this history’s impact in our own time. We will examine how scholars, activists, and university communities are grappling with these histories and their legacies today.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Mike Jirik
  • HIST 131: Saints and Society in Late Antiquity

    In Late Antiquity (200-800 CE), certain men and women around the Mediterranean and beyond came to occupy a special place in the minds and lives of their contemporaries: they were known as holy men and women or saints. What led people to perceive someone as holy? What were the consequences of holiness for the persons themselves and the surrounding societies? When they intervene in their worlds, what are their sources of authority and power?  How did these holy figures relate to the established institutions–secular and religious–that surrounded them?  Working with a rich array of evidence, we will explore themes such as asceticism, embodied and verbal pedagogy, wealth and poverty, work, marginality, cultural difference, and protest/resistance. We will journey from the lands of Gaul, Italy, and Spain to North Africa and Egypt and the Holy Land, to Armenia and the Fertile Crescent.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · William North
  • HIST 139: Foundations of Modern Europe

    A narrative and survey of the early modern period (fifteenth through eighteenth centuries). The course examines the Renaissance, Reformation, Contact with the Americas, the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment. We compare the development of states and societies across Western Europe, with particularly close examination of the history of Spain. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Susannah Ottaway
  • HIST 154: Social Movements in Postwar Japan

    This course tackles an evolving meaning of democracy and sovereignty in postwar Japan shaped by the transformative power of its social movements. We will place the anti-nuclear movement and anti-base struggles of the 1950s, the protest movements against revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty of the 1960s, and environmentalist movements against the U.S. Cold War projects in Asia to see how they intersect with the worldwide “New Left” movements of the 1960s. Topics include student activism, labor unionism, Marxist movements, and gangsterism (yakuza). Students will engage with political art, photographs, manga, films, reportage, memoirs, autobiographies, interview records, novels, and detective stories.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Seungjoo Yoon
  • HIST 159: Disaster, Disease, & Rumors in East Asia

    How are rumors generated and transmitted in a period of high anxiety like disaster? Do rumors and anxiety reciprocate? How do rumors enhance existing stereotypes and prejudices of people? Why do rumors arise in a society that suffers from inadequate information or the complete cutoff in communication? This course classifies the types and nature of rumors at the time of making modern East Asia. Thematically, it examines the interplay between wartime science, environmental conditions, and societal capacities in modern Japan, Korea, and China. Topics include rumor panics generated by epidemic, water pollution, atomic bomb, famine politics, industrial toxins, and lab leaks. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Seungjoo Yoon
  • HIST 175: Gender and Sexuality in Latin American History

    This course analyzes constructions of gender and sexuality in Latin America from the pre-colonial and colonial periods through nation building in the nineteenth century and globalization in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Drawing on sources including testimonies, legal documents, memoirs, and art, it considers how social, political, and economic structures created unequal power relations as well as how individuals moved within these frameworks, at times even challenging them. In particular, it explores how the racial and ethnic inequalities created through conquest, colonialism, and slavery both shaped and were shaped by gender and sexuality, as well as how these inequalities persisted.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2021 · Jennifer Schaefer
  • HIST 194: The Making of the “Pacific World”

    The Pacific is the largest ocean on our planet, covering thirty percent of the Earth’s surface and bordered by four continents. This course will explore how a “Pacific World” framework can help us understand the movement of peoples, goods, and ideas across an oceanic space. Can we describe the history of the Pacific as having a unified history? This course will explore various topics in Pacific history including the history of exploration and migration, cross-cultural encounters, science and empire, and environmental history from 1750 to the present. While this course will be transnational in scope, it will focus primarily on U.S. exploration, trade, and the making of an American Pacific frontier. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Tony Adler
  • HIST 200: Historians for Hire

    A two-credit course in which students work with faculty oversight to complete a variety of public history projects with community partners. Students will work on a research project requiring them to identify and analyze primary sources, draw conclusions from the primary source research, and share their research with the appropriate audience in an appropriate form. We meet once a week at Carleton to ensure students maintain professional standards and strong relationships in their work. Potential projects include educational programming, historical society archival work, and a variety of local history opportunities. 

    2 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Tony Adler
  • HIST 211: Revolts and Resistance in Early America

    Far from being a single entity, America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a world of vibrant, polyglot, globally linked, and violent societies. In this course we will learn how the enslavement of Africans and Native Americans created a state of war that bridged Europe, America, and Africa. We will examine how indigenous resistance to European settlement reshaped landscapes and cultures. We will focus throughout on the daily lives of the women and men who created and shaped the vast world of early America.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Serena Zabin
  • HIST 226: U.S. Consumer Culture

    In the period after 1880, the growth of a mass consumer society recast issues of identity, gender, race, class, family, and political life. We will explore the development of consumer culture through such topics as advertising and mass media, the body and sexuality, consumerist politics in the labor movement, and the response to the Americanization of consumption abroad. We will read contemporary critics such as Thorstein Veblen, as well as historians engaged in weighing the possibilities of abundance against the growth of corporate power. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2021 · Annette Igra
  • HIST 230: Black Americans and the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction

    What does a most turbulent period in U.S. history look like from the perspectives of Black women and men? What role did Black thought and resistance play in shaping the outcome of the war? What was interracial democracy during Reconstruction and why was it ultimately overthrown? These are a few of the myriad questions we will seek to answer by studying the central role of Black Americans in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. We will examine how Black people participated in and shaped the politics of this period and we will critically engage the meanings of freedom, emancipation, and democracy.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Mike Jirik
  • HIST 250: Modern Germany

    This course offers a comprehensive examination of German history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will look at the German-speaking peoples of Central Europe through the prism of politics, society, culture, and the economy. Through a range of readings, we will grapple with the many complex and contentious issues that have made German history such an interesting area of intellectual inquiry. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · David Tompkins
  • HIST 256: Disaster, Disease, & Rumors in East Asia

    How are rumors generated and transmitted in a period of high anxiety like disaster? Do rumors and anxiety reciprocate? How do rumors enhance existing stereotypes and prejudices of people? Why do rumors arise in a society that suffers from inadequate information or the complete cutoff in communication? This course classifies the types and nature of rumors at the time of making modern East Asia. Thematically, it examines the interplay between wartime science, environmental conditions, and societal capacities in modern Japan, Korea, and China. Topics include rumor panics generated by epidemic, water pollution, atomic bomb, famine politics, industrial toxins, and lab leaks. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Seungjoo Yoon
  • HIST 266: History of Islam in South Asia

    While Islam in popular thought is often associated solely with the Arab world, in reality eighty percent of the world’s Muslim population is not of Arab ethnicity.  The countries of South Asia–particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh–are collectively home to the largest number of Muslims. After examining the early background of the appearance and growth of Islamic societies and governments, we will explore the rich history of the expansion of Islam into the Indian subcontinent. We will take account of the role of trade and conquest in the early centuries of Islamic expansion and study the development of specifically Indian forms of Islam. The nature and impact of the Indo-Islamic empires will receive our attention, as will the interaction of Muslims with non-Muslim communities in medieval and early modern India. This will be followed by a look at the period of colonial rule, and an analysis of the specific historical contexts that gave rise to specific religious nationalist movements. We will then trace out how, once established, these movements developed according to their changing relationships to national liberation movements, secularism, state administrative systems, global economic shifts, and changing social demands. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Brendan LaRocque
  • HIST 268: Globalization & Local Responses in India Program: History, Globalization, and Politics in Modern India

    Indian democracy presents a complicated social and political terrain that is being reshaped and remapped by a wide variety of efforts to bring about economic development, social change, political representation, justice, and equality. In this course we will examine, among other topics, the history of modern India with a focus on political movements centered on issues of colonialism, nationalism, class, gender, and caste. We will also examine changes in contemporary India brought about by globalization, and study how particular groups and communities have reacted and adapted to these developments.

    Prerequisites: Acceptance into the India OCS Program required 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2021
  • HIST 272: Music and Movement in Atlantic World History

    This course examines music and movement in Atlantic World history and introduces methods from the digital humanities. It analyzes how hybrid cultural practices began in the period of colonization and the transatlantic slave system. It considers how these practices influenced national identities during the nineteenth century and continued to cross between the Americas, Africa, and Europe in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The course addresses broad themes including immigration, race, class, nationalism, and transnational exchange. A digital humanities approach enables the course to ask and answer new questions about these topics. No previous experience with digital humanities is required.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2021 · Jennifer Schaefer
  • HIST 298: Junior Colloquium

    In the junior year, majors must take this six-credit reading and discussion course taught each year by different members of the department faculty. The course is also required for the History minor. The general purpose of History 298 is to help students reach a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of history as a discipline and of the approaches and methods of historians. A major who is considering off-campus study in the junior year should consult with their adviser on when to take History 298.

    Prerequisites: At least two six credit courses in History (excluding HIST 100 and Independents) at Carleton. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Adeeb Khalid, Susannah Ottaway, Serena Zabin
  • HIST 308: American Cities and Nature

    Since the nation’s founding, the percentage of Americans living in cities has risen nearly sixteenfold, from about five percent to the current eighty-one percent. This massive change has spawned legions of others, and all of them have bearing on the complex ways that American cities and city-dwellers have shaped and reshaped the natural world. This course will consider the nature of cities in American history, giving particular attention to the dynamic linkages binding these cultural epicenters to ecological communities, environmental forces and resource flows, to eco-politics and social values, and to those seemingly far-away places we call farms and wilderness.

    Prerequisites: History 205 or permission of the instructor 6 credits; Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2021 · George Vrtis
  • HIST 360: Muslims and Modernity

    Through readings in primary sources in translation, we will discuss the major intellectual and cultural movements that have influenced Muslim thinkers from the nineteenth century on. Topics include modernism, nationalism, socialism, and fundamentalism.

    Prerequisites: At least one prior course in the history of the Middle East or Central Asia or Islam 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Adeeb Khalid
  • HIST 398: Advanced Historical Writing

    This course is designed to support majors in developing advanced skills in historical research and writing. Through a combination of class discussion, small group work, and one-on-one interactions with the professor, majors learn the process of constructing sophisticated, well-documented, and well-written historical arguments within the context of an extended project of their own design. They also learn and practice strategies for engaging critically with contemporary scholarship and effective techniques of peer review and the oral presentation of research. Concurrent enrollment in History 400 required. By permission of the instructor only. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2021 · Thabiti Willis, Annette Igra
  • HIST 400: Integrative Exercise

    Required of all seniors majoring in history. Registration in this course is contingent upon prior approval of a research proposal. 6 credits; S/NC; offered Winter 2021 · Annette Igra, Thabiti Willis

Spring 2021

  • HIST 139: Foundations of Modern Europe

    A narrative and survey of the early modern period (fifteenth through eighteenth centuries). The course examines the Renaissance, Reformation, Contact with the Americas, the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment. We compare the development of states and societies across Western Europe, with particularly close examination of the history of Spain. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Susannah Ottaway
  • HIST 153: Modern China: China with Mao

    This survey course of twentieth-century China examines how ordinary people interacted with Mao, the chief architect of Communist China. We will scrutinize social change over time by looking at patterns of contestations and negotiations between Mao and his rivals among peasants, workers, students, women, intellectuals, ethnic minorities, and local cadres. Topics include the operation of the new democracy, social classification and distribution, food and famine politics, the changing meaning of family and education, body and biomedicine, mass science and archaeological projects, and Mao’s exhibition culture. Students will engage with images, memoirs, autobiographies, interviews, oral histories, films, “garbage materials,” and archival sources.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2021 · Seungjoo Yoon
  • HIST 176: Immigrants and Identity in Latin American History, 1845-present

    During the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, immigration to Latin America rapidly increased and immigrant communities responded to and reshaped national identities, cultural production, political movements, and social structures. This course analyzes multiple immigrant experiences, including Eastern European Jewish immigration to Argentina, Japanese immigration to Brazil, and Middle Eastern immigration to Mexico. This course focuses on the experiences produced by the voluntary immigration that increased after the end of the transatlantic slave system and forced migration. It considers how Afro-Latin American identities and the legacies of slavery intersected with narratives around citizenship, nationality, ethnicity, and race.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2021 · Jennifer Schaefer
  • HIST 183: History of Early West Africa

    This course surveys the history of West Africa during the pre-colonial period from 790 to 1590. It chronicles the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Ancient Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. We will examine the transition from decentralized to centralized societies, the relations between nomadic and settler groups, the institution of divine kingship, the emergence of new ruling dynasties, the consolidation of trade networks, and the development of the classical Islamic world. Students will learn how scholars have used archeological evidence, African oral traditions, and the writings of Muslim travelers to reconstruct this important era of West African history. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Thabiti Willis
  • HIST 200: Historians for Hire

    A two-credit course in which students work with faculty oversight to complete a variety of public history projects with community partners. Students will work on a research project requiring them to identify and analyze primary sources, draw conclusions from the primary source research, and share their research with the appropriate audience in an appropriate form. We meet once a week at Carleton to ensure students maintain professional standards and strong relationships in their work. Potential projects include educational programming, historical society archival work, and a variety of local history opportunities. 

    2 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Tony Adler
  • HIST 201: Rome Program: Building Power and Piety in Medieval Italy, CE 300-1150

    Through site visits, on-site projects, and readings, this course explores the ways in which individuals and communities attempted to give physical and visual form to their religious beliefs and political ambitions through their use of materials, iconography, topography, and architecture. We will also examine how the material legacies of imperial Rome, Byzantium, and early Christianity served as both resources for and constraints on the political, cultural, and religious evolution of the Italian peninsula and especially Rome and its environs from late antiquity through the twelfth century. Among the principal themes will be the development of the cult of saints, the development of the papal power and authority, Christianization, reform, pilgrimage, and monasticism.

    Prerequisites: Acceptance to Carleton Rome Program 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · William North
  • HIST 205: American Environmental History

    Environmental concerns, conflicts, and change mark the course of American history, from the distant colonial past to our own day. This course will consider the nature of these eco-cultural developments, focusing on the complicated ways that human thought and perception, culture and society, and natural processes and biota have all combined to forge Americans’ changing relationship with the natural world. Topics will include Native American subsistence strategies, Euroamerican settlement, industrialization, urbanization, consumption, and the environmental movement. As we explore these issues, one of our overarching goals will be to develop an historical context for thinking deeply about contemporary environmental dilemmas. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2020, Spring 2021 · George Vrtis
  • HIST 206: Rome Program: The Eternal City in Time: Structure, Change, and Identity

    This course will explore the lived experience of the city of Rome in the twelfth-sixteenth centuries. Students will study buildings, urban forms, surviving artifacts, and textual and other visual evidence to understand how politics, power, and religion (both Christianity and Judaism) mapped onto city spaces. How did urban challenges and opportunities shape daily life? How did the memory of the past influence the present? How did the rural world affect the city and vice versa? Students will work on projects closely tied to the urban fabric.

    Prerequisites: Enrollment in OCS program 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Victoria Morse
  • HIST 213: The Age of Hamilton

    This course will examine the social, political, and cultural history of the period 1783-1830 with special consideration of the framing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the new nation’s transnational connections, especially to France and Haiti. Other topics include partisan conflict, political culture, nation-building, the American character, and domestic life. We will also consider the contemporary interest in this period in both politics and musical theater. Some previous knowledge of American history assumed.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Serena Zabin
  • HIST 215: Carleton in the Archives: Carleton in China

    What stories do pictures and voices tell? What roles did Carletonians play in the making of the twentieth China during WWII, the Chinese Civil War, and the Communist revolution? What are the reflux effects of select Carls’ experiences in China under transformation? How do Carls project their voices and images to their audiences? Students conduct hands-on activities in the Gould Library Archives with its Carleton-in-China Collection consisting of photographs, film footage, field reports, interviews, and public lectures. Students will be introduced to a wide range of visual and aural methods to help complete a research paper based on their archival work by the end of the term.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Seungjoo Yoon
  • HIST 219: Black Revolutions in the Atlantic World

    The development of the modern world through the lens of Black revolutions is the analytical focus of this class. This course challenges eurocentric narratives of the development of the modern world and instead centers critiques of western civilization from what Cedric Robinson calls the Black Radical tradition and its liberatory project. Black resistance to the development of the Americas and the system of racial capitalism was continuous and evolved over time. Using a series of Black revolutions in the Atlantic World during the age of slavery as case studies, we will study historical manifestations of Black radicalism and use them to theorize new forms of knowledge, history, philosophy, and culture.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Mike Jirik
  • HIST 240: Tsars and Serfs, Cossacks and Revolutionaries: The Empire that was Russia

    Nicholas II, the last Tsar-Emperor of Russia, ruled over an empire that stretched from the Baltic to the Pacific. Territorial expansion over three-and-a-half centuries had brought under Russian rule a vast empire of immense diversity. The empire’s subjects spoke a myriad languages, belonged to numerous religious communities, and related to the state in a wide variety of ways. Its artists produced some of the greatest literature and music of the nineteenth century and it offered fertile ground for ideologies of both conservative imperialism and radical revolution. This course surveys the panorama of this empire from its inception in the sixteenth century to its demise in the flames of World War I. Among the key analytical questions addressed are the following: How did the Russian Empire manage its diversity? How does Russia compare with other colonial empires? What understandings of political order legitimized it and how were they challenged? 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Adeeb Khalid
  • HIST 287: From Alchemy to the Atom Bomb: The Scientific Revolution and the Making of the Modern World

    This course examines the growth of modern science since the Renaissance with an emphasis on the Scientific Revolution, the development of scientific methodology, and the emergence of new scientific disciplines. How might a history of science focused on scientific networks operating within society, rather than on individual scientists, change our understanding of “genius,” “progress,” and “scientific impartiality?” We will consider a range of scientific developments, treating science both as a body of knowledge and as a set of practices, and will gauge the extent to which our knowledge of the natural world is tied to who, when, and where such knowledge has been produced and circulated.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2021 · Tony Adler
  • HIST 298: Junior Colloquium

    In the junior year, majors must take this six-credit reading and discussion course taught each year by different members of the department faculty. The course is also required for the History minor. The general purpose of History 298 is to help students reach a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of history as a discipline and of the approaches and methods of historians. A major who is considering off-campus study in the junior year should consult with their adviser on when to take History 298.

    Prerequisites: At least two six credit courses in History (excluding HIST 100 and Independents) at Carleton. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Adeeb Khalid, Susannah Ottaway, Serena Zabin
  • HIST 301: Indigenous Histories of Carleton

    What are the Indigenous histories of Carleton College? Stories circulate on campus about Dakota connections to the land that is currently the Arb, but what else do we know? In this course, students will investigate the Indigenous histories of our campus and Northfield by conducting original research about how Carleton acquired its landbase, its historic relationships to Dakota and Anishinaabeg people, the shifting demographics of Native students on campus, and the history of Indigenous faculty and staff, among others. Students will situate these histories within the broader context of federal Indian policies and Indigenous resistance. 

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Meredith McCoy
  • HIST 304: Black Study and the University

    This course examines the historical relationship between Black intellectuals and the university. We will examine the juxtaposition between institutionalized white supremacy in universities and the work of Black students and faculty as well as the radical implications of Black knowledge production. Beginning with the writings of Anna Julia Cooper and W.E.B. Du Bois, the course traces how Black intellectuals have conceptualized the political utility of higher education and its liberatory potential over the course of the twentieth century. Emphases include the significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the advent of Black Studies departments, and the role of Black Studies today and in the future.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Mike Jirik
  • HIST 383: Africa’s Colonial Legacies

    This course deepens understanding of the causes, manifestations, and implications of warfare in modern Africa by highlighting African perspectives on colonialism’s legacies. Drawing from cases in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Algeria, and Sudan, the course questions whether Britain’s policy of indirect rule, France’s direct rule, and South Africa’s apartheid rule were variants of despotism and how colonial rule shaped possibilities of resistance, reform, and repression. Students also will learn how different historical actors participated in and experienced war as well as produce an original research paper that thoughtfully uses primary and secondary resources. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Thabiti Willis