Spring 2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Topics and Writing Courses
HIST 2680.001, East Asia and U.S. Relations
This course will examine the history, development and implementation of the policies underlying US-East Asian International Relations. The course covers the rise of Japan in the 19th century as a major Asian power, the collapse of the Chinese Empire, the Rise of the Japanese empire, War and defeat. Primary emphasis is on the importance of Asia in the formulation and implementation of foreign and economic policy in the Post World War II era up to and including the Present. Specific areas of interest include China's remarkable scale and velocity of growth, the Asian financial crisis, Asia-Pacific regional integration and issues of security, the United States as a "Pacific Power", and specific challenges of the 21st century.
HIST 2680.002, MODERN ASIA: From Imperial Division to the Re-opening of the Silk Road
History 2680, cross-listed as Asian Studies 2030 (formerly 1052), will consider visions of Asia: their modern origins in geography, religion, economics and politics. We will start by examining Pan-Asian ideas from both Japan and India and the issue of Asian values. We will return to this theme at the end of the course, when we consider the "rise of China".
Then we look into Western approaches to Asia, as exemplified by the incursions of imperialism, which divided Asia into separate spheres of influence; and Asian responses to the West (including modernization, nationalism and independence movements). Finally, we study postcolonial developments until roughly the end of the Cold War in the three major regions of Asia: South, Southeast and East Asia.
The focus is on India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia, but we also touch on Central Asia and current crisis areas. The course deals with continuity and change, in state, society and culture. Film and literature will be used to illustrate course themes. Because it covers three regions of Asia, it can count as a Foundation Course for the Asian Studies Major or Minor.
HIST 2900.002, Cold War Culture
In the years following World War II the United States held a position of unprecedented global power. Yet many Americans experienced a sense of insecurity about the world as never before. Anxieties about communism at home and abroad as well as the constant fear of a nuclear Armageddon shaped American daily life in the early postwar period. This seminar traces the correlation between America’s foreign relations and its culture and society between 1945 and 1968. We will discuss among others the influence of the atomic bomb on American culture, the emergence of the national security state, the effect of anticommunism on individual liberties at home as well as containment policies abroad, cold war gender relations, and the international dimensions of the civil rights movement.
HIST 3900.004, Game of Thrones: How did the Popes Win?
How is it that the medieval Catholic Papacy in Rome garnered enough power to declare Islam the enemy of Western Christendom and launch Christian Crusades in Muslim territories (from Spain to Palestine) by the end of the eleventh century CE? How did the medieval papacy come to "manage" Jews resident in Western Christendom as an exceptional minority subject to bare life? This course studies the fabrication of papal power from its early militant martyrial days in the second and third-centuries CE. It considers the profound impact of the imperialization of the Church with the conversion of the Roman Emperor to Christianity in the fourth-century CE. It then tracks how the papacy bent a Roman imperial imaginary back on itself in the ninth-century CE and in so doing produced its shadow monster, The Holy Roman Empire. As the popes harnessed the newly founded law schools in Bologna in the eleventh century, they fashioned legal notions of papal sovereignty and unleashed its sovereign power (the naming of the enemy and the declaration of the state of exception) upon Western Christendom.
HIST 5280.401, Nonprofit Management
This course provides an introduction to the management of non-profit historical organizations. Its goal is to prepare students who will be entering public history careers to be leaders in their institutions. Students are introduced to the complexity of issues in historical management through a wide variety of case studies. Topics include working with boards, managing philanthropy, grant writing and the ethics of serving the public trust.
HIST 5400.401, Digital History
The definition of digital history is amorphous, broad, and often debated. Digital history projects may refer to everything from an online exhibition to a podcast to a Flickr pool of images to mapping and geographic information systems. This class will explore digital history in terms of the questions of narrative, shared authority, access, and historical analysis that arise when using digital tools for working with history. We will discuss the major issues involved in digital history initiatives and gain familiarity with various technologies often used in such projects.
HIST 8810.001, Introduction to African History
In this course we examine the major themes and scholarly debates that have defined scholarly historical writing on Africa. The course's required reading consists of secondary and primary texts that engage the histories of large political entities and structures, as well as more local, individual and society-level histories from the decline of the Nile Valley Civilizations to the rise of African nationalism and the challenges of late 20th century nation-states. In this way we gain a broad sense of Africa's dynamic and diverse material, social, and political cultures and the ways in which they and conceptions of them have changed over time.
WRITING INTENSIVE COURSES
HIST 3496.002, Getting to Peace
European Intermediate Writing Seminar
Getting to Peace offers an introduction to particular forces shaping conflict in contemporary European/Western Societies and those of developing nations. The first portion of the course will offer a general overview of European imperialism and colonialism during the 18th and 19th centuries. We will also consider the impact of post-colonial and Cold War developments in Western Europe and emerging nations after World War II to establish a historical context for contemporary global conflicts. More specifically, the class will investigate how weapons proliferation, imperial ambition, global political and economic competition foster conditions for violence, war, and terrorism. Since political conflict is often fueled by socio/economic imbalance, the class will also examine conflict issues arising from national competition, world trade policies, regional inequities, immigration, environmental questions and the impact of scarce resource distribution on women, children, and families in developing nations. While we will consider different approaches to social and political conflicts, the course encourages non-violent approaches to the resolution of local, national, and international conflicts.
HIST 4296.101, American Revolution and Republic, 1754-1789
David J. Crawford
This course explores the history and the historiography of the American Revolution and Republic, 1754-1789. The class will explore the causes, course, outcomes and the experiences of the people involved in the struggles that culminated in the creation of the United States of America. The local, regional, national and global impacts and long-range legacies of the Revolution, the War for Independence and the Republic will also be explored. The course stresses the imperial, interstate, political, economic, military, strategic, social, cultural, intellectual, ideological, technological, transnational, and environmental aspects of the American Revolution and the founding of the Republic. The primary and fundamental course objective is to develop, practice, and enhance the scholarly and intellectual research skills, including critical reading and thinking, and the writing skills necessary to produce a scholarly historical paper. Each student will undertake a research project of their choice into secondary and primary sources on a specific historical topic, question, or problem in any of the above-mentioned subjects that culminates in a final research paper of twenty to twenty-five typewritten pages in length.
HIST 4296.002, Reading Philadelphia
In this class we will examine writings about Philadelphia as a place and destination, ranging from Dickens's reflections of Philadelphia in the 1840s to WPA travel guides of the 1930s to guides to the Bicentennial. This writing intensive course is designed to put into practice the skills of historical research and writing that you have acquired as a history major. Each student will write a research paper based on original research using primary sources on some aspect of Philadelphia history since 1840.
HIST 4296.003, Protest Movements in the U.S.
After several semesters studying history, students in the capstone seminar will experience what it is like actually to "do" history. We will study the process of historical research: how to select and research historical topics, how to access archives and find primary source materials, how to verify and evaluate what you have found, and how to prepare historical reports. We will examine the basics of historical research and writing: how to evaluate evidence impartially, argue logically, and present results effectively. This is a seminar. There will be occasional lectures, but we will mostly discuss such issues as historiography, interpreting history, in-class analysis of primary sources, library and internet research, and how to write a major research paper.
HIST 4497.001, The European Enlightenment
This capstone course will explore the Enlightenment, its critics, and its limits in the context of different European societies between the late 17th and 18th centuries. Over the course of the term we will be looking at a variety of topics, including philosophical and scientific origins; culture and consumption; statecraft and debates about citizenship and political identity,, conceptions of religion, religious institutions and religious enlightenment; institutions and secret societies; publishing, the press, and reading habits; and debates about social development, progress, and improvement. The course will explore aspects of the European Enlightenment and its consequences, as well as how historians have evaluated the long eighteenth century as a watershed in Europe's contested path to modernity. Students will formulate research projects that look at some aspect of the European or transatlantic Enlightenment and work over the course of the term to complete a research paper.
HIST 4696.001, Asian Studies/Asian History Research Seminar
This section of History 4696 is cross-listed to the Asian Studies 4096, the capstone of the Asian Studies major. It is a research course to deepen existing knowledge rather than a course to learn something about Asia. Research in depth on one Asian country on a topic you select (but approved by the professor), plus reading and discussion of selected writings from various disciplines on several Asia countries. Prior upper level Asian Studies coursework or extensive reading on the history of an Asian country is strongly recommended.