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Featured Courses

Learn more about a few of the upper division courses offered by the Department of History for the Fall 2018 semester. You can find more detailed information (such as location and course syllabi) on the current Department of History class schedule. To register for History courses, login to CIS.

 (HIST 3398) The History of the Middle East, 1798-1914

Meets with HIST 6398 and MID E 6545. Surveys the history of the Middle East from the late 18th century until the First World War, concentrating principally on Ottoman Turkey, the eastern Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, and Iran. Focuses on the institutions of the Ottoman state, its efforts to reassert its control over the Arab provinces, on the reforms inaugurated by the stat and their effects on politics and society in Turkey and the Arab world, particularly in Greater Syria and Iraq. Also focuses on a number of specific issues of importance in the 19th century.




(HIST 3740) Emergence of Modern America

A survey of U.S. history from the Gilded Age in the late 19th century through the Progressive Era, WWI, the 1920s, the Great Depression and the New Deal, down to WWII.







(HIST 3910-001) Comparative Slavery

This course introduces students to the different forms, embodiments, and definitions of slavery across time and the globe. We will explore canonical questions such as what constitutes a slave society and whether a universal definition is a constructive paradigm, to specific questions about how to understand the role of law, gender and sexuality, science, and race in a particular society. The key focus will be on the Atlantic world, including Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe, and the aim is to give students a truly comparative history of slavery so they can develop a language of analysis and critique that is not hindered by time and place. As part of the class, we will bring in four leading scholars on the topic specializing in different times and places, along with guest lectures from scholars at the U. The guest speakers will teach a class and also give a public lecture, both of which are required for the course.



(HIST 3910-003) Mormons & the Past

This course explores these questions about Mormon people(s) and cultures. Changing practices and conflicts of identity, history, science, sexualities, and conformity will be situated comparatively across time and space and investigated from multiple perspectives. Novel Mormon applications of the past are explored, including genealogical research technologies. This course should challenge assumptions and stimulate new cross-cultural thinking about the construction of the past by Mormons. It has been developed for social science and humanities students and especially anthropology and history majors.



(HIST 3910-004) Race/Empire & the Asia Pacific

This course focuses on the Japanese empire, which formally began in 1895 and ended in 1945. As we will consider, however, these temporal boundaries might not be so fixed, as expansion began earlier with the incorporation of lands later called Okinawa and Hokkaido, and memories of empire continue long after Japan had lost its imperial possessions. The legacies of the Japanese empire have also had profound implications for the diplomatic relations amongst nations on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Although this course spends the most amount of time dealing with the Japanese empire, it will also consider how this empire overlapped with and intersected the expansion of the US Empire. While historians and scholars have often seen these two powers as diametrically opposed - with the US supporting racial progress and freedom and the Japanese focused on blood purity and exclusion - we will witness some remarkable similarities in how the two powers dealt with minority populations amidst the buildup to war. This course will also ask you to consider the ways in which minority discourses either shifted and/or remained the same in the postwar period. In other words, we will reflect on how the legacies of US and Japanese imperialism might have continued into the postwar period. Finally, the course will end by asking us how we as citizens and scholars should attempt to remember war. What is at stake in the politics of war memory and how do different groups address the question of remembering the legacies of war and empire?



history of tech(HIST 4085) History of Technology

Over the past two hundred years, industrialization has transformed the human world and the global environment. Where will it lead in the next two centuries – if malevolent AIs or climate change don’t kill us all first? This course surveys the experiences of technological change, from the start of the industrial revolution to the present, with an eye towards the uncertain future. 





(HIST 4200-001) History of Hawai’i

If Hawai'i only conjures up images of beach umbrellas and hotels, you're missing out on a rich history that far precedes the development of Waikiki. This class explores the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Kingdom's overthrow in 1893, and later annexation by the United States in 1898. While many people accept the inclusion of Hawai'i within the United States as a given, this class analyzes how Native Hawaiians fiercely resisted the loss of their nation, and continue to organize for cultural revitalization and deco Ionization. We also consider the histories of the sugar plantations that brought immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal and Puerto Rico. Various struggles and alliances between Native Hawaiians and descendants of Asian, Latinx, and European immigrants shape Hawai'i's vibrant history and present.



(HIST 4230) Global Islam

This course follows the history of Islam from its origins to the present day with a special focus on Muslims living outside of the Middle East. We will look at Muslim lives, beliefs, and cultures in places as diverse as Central Asia, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa, and modern Europe and North America. Religious topics discusses include relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, Sufism, various forms of Shi'ism, syncretic Southeast Asian traditions, and extremism worldwide.




(HIST 4990-001) Senior Seminar: The Historical Moment

  History is momentous – but many important historical events happened in little more than a moment. For example, while the history of European colonialism is vast, the story of the Black Hole of Calcutta (an Indian holding cell in which British prisoners died) is small and discrete, with a beginning, middle, and end – yet this momentary event played a crucial role in the expansion of British colonialism in India. This Senior Seminar focuses on ways that we can write about such small historical moments while making them relevant to large historical questions. This course is writing intensive. Students will be expected to write a serious research paper that focuses on a particular historical event and its  afterlife.       Work on any geographical region or time period is welcome.


(HIST 4990-002) Senior Seminar: Crises in Modern History

In 2008, the United States housing market crashed. This precipitated a global financial collapse whose effects are still being felt in the present. Many of us have undoubtedly lived large portions of our lives either amidst or in the aftermath of some form of crisis. Inherent to modern capitalist nation-states is an ideology that sees economic growth as intimately connected to the expansion of human freedom. This ideology of perpetual growth, however, rarely works out in reality. While the logic of growth often posits the existence of a world that can exist outside of human intervention, the reality of crisis troubles that logic. Crises force us to examine how humans both cause different types of disasters while also providing a possibility for thinking through how humans might begin to construct productive solutions.

This course will primarily focus on two important types of crisis: ecological and health crises. We will examine some of the factors that helped to produce these crises as well as the ways in which different groups have attempted to respond to these moments of crisis. The examples discussed in this course will include the Ashio mine in Japan, AIDS, global tobacco regulation, and the Bhopal explosion in India. While many of these crisis might seem to have arisen naturally or to at least have been beyond the realm of human control, we will discuss the ways in which specific human actions and policies either set the stage or created the conditions of possibility for these disasters to occur.

Last Updated: 4/1/21