Seminar

HIST411 - THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE WORLD, 1450-1700

Description: 
Using as our guides the works of Miguel de Cervantes, Michael de Montaigne, William Shakespeare, Baldassare Castiglione, Antonio de Sosa, Elias al-Musili, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, Aḥmad ibn Qāsim Ibn al-Ḥajarī, Maria de Zayas y Sotomayor, and many others, this seminar will analyze the social mutations, religious confrontations, political conflicts, cultural productions and circulation of books and ideas that characterized the Mediterranean world during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Based on a close reading of the authors mentioned above, this seminar will focus on the study of the central transformations – political, religious, cultural, and literary – in the early modern Mediterranean world. Students will also be introduced to original materials belonging to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections of the Library: early modern editions of some of the books read in the class, printed ephemera, or manuscript documents belonging to the Lea Collection. Students are expected to be active participants in this class; class attendance, participation, and oral presentations will be required. Students will write a final paper, around 15 pages. Students majoring in History can opt to write a research paper (20 pages) using original primary sources, to fulfill the department research requirement.
Instructors: 
FEROS, ANTONIO
CHARTIER, ROGER
POLLACK, JOHN
Day and Time: 
M 0200PM-0500PM
Activity: 
SEM
Cross Listings: 

    HIST412 - ORAL HISTORY

    Instructors: 

    FARNSWORTH-ALVEAR, ANN

    Day and Time: 

    F 0100PM-0400PM

    Activity: 
    SEM

    HIST231 - WARTIME INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE AMERICANS

    Description: 
    This research seminar will consist of a review of representative studies on the Japanese American internment, and a discussion of how social scientists and historians have attempted to explain its complex backgrounds and causes. Through the careful reading of academic works, primary source materials, and visualized narratives (film productions), students will learn the basic historiography of internment studies, research methodologies, and the politics of interpretation pertaining to this particular historical subject. Students will also examine how Japanese Americans and others have attempted to reclaim a history of the wartime internment from the realm of “detached” academia in the interest of their lives in the “real” world, and for a goal of “social justice” in general. The class will critically probe the political use of history and memories of selected pasts in both Asian American community and contemporary American society through the controversial issue of the Japanese American internment.
    Instructors: 
    AZUMA, EIICHIRO
    Day and Time: 
    T 0130PM-0430PM
    Activity: 
    SEM
    Cross Listings: 

      HIST232 - MIGRATION AND REFUGEES IN AFRICAN HISTORY

      Description: 
      This seminar will examine the experiences of recent African emigrants and refugees within and from the continent Africa from a historical and comparative perspective. We will look at the relations of overseas Africans with both their home and host societies, drawing on some of the extensive comparative literature on immigration, ethnic diasporas, and transnationalism. Other topics include reasons for leaving Africa, patterns of economic and educational adaptation abroad, changes in gender and generational roles, issues of cultural, religious, and political identity, and the impact of international immigration policies. Students will have the opportunity to conduct focused research on specific African communities in Philadelphia or elsewhere in North America, Europe, or the Middle East. We will employ a variety of sources and methodologies from different disciplines--including newspapers, government and NGOs, literature and film, and diaspora internet sites--to explore the lives, aspirations, and perceptions of Africans abroad. Class meets Mondays from 2:00-5:00 and will consist of a combination of lectures (including several by invited guests), discussions, video screenings, and presentations by students of their research in progress.
      Instructors: 
      BABOU, CHEIKH
      Day and Time: 
      M 0200PM-0500PM
      Activity: 
      SEM
      Cross Listings: 

        HIST232 - VOICES OF DISSENT: MIDDLE EASTERN HISTORY THROUGH LITERATURE

        Instructors: 
        KASHANI-SABET, FIROOZEH
        Day and Time: 
        T 0130PM-0430PM
        Activity: 
        SEM
        Cross Listings: 

          HIST233 - CORRUPTION, COLLUSION, AND COMMMERCE IN EARLY AMERICA AND THE CARRIBEAN

          Description: 
          Corruption in politics and economics has become a significant issue in the modern world. This course introduces students to the study of corruption and collusion from the perspective of early America and the Caribbean from 1500 through 1820. By examining the historical evolution of corruption, the course addresses questions such as: What is corruption and, by contrast, what is good governance? Who creates law and when is it enforced? Can societies be corrupt or only institutions? And, does economic corruption help or hurt financial development? Our readings and discussion will examine the intersection of politics, culture, gender, and economics. We will reflect on how early Americans understood corruption and collusion and what that can tell us about similar modern issues. In the end, the course focuses on the concept of corruption as a complex social function through the lens of bribery, piracy, sex crimes, and other forms of social deviancy.
          Instructors: 
          SCHMITT, CASEY
          Day and Time: 
          M 0330PM-0630PM
          Activity: 
          SEM
          Cross Listings: 

            HIST233 - TAKING OFF: HOW SOME ECONOMIES GET RICH

            Description: 
            What makes an economy grow? This question has been asked – and answered – many times over in the modern era. From Adam Smith’s classic Wealth of Nations (1776) to today’s political leaders, many have debated the ingredients necessary for a nation to prosper, or policies to promote growth. Some point to the need for fiscal responsibility, others an educated labor force, or to tariffs, natural resources, and the right laws. This seminar explores the deep history of this problem of economic growth. Students will read works by economists, social scientists, and historians that present different theories for why some nations develop faster than others. With case studies from across the globe, we will tackle topics like why Europe industrialized first, or the paradox of why the abundance of natural resources does not necessarily contribute to long-lasting economic development. This course also asks students to think critically about the metrics used to measure “success” and “failure” across nations, as well as how such comparisons between societies have been mobilized to legitimize imperial expansion, human exploitation, environmental destruction, or political repression. By discussing how governments, corporate interests, and individual actors have implemented strategies to increase national wealth, students will also be asked to grapple with some of the consequences of economic growth for the environment, human welfare, and social inequality.
            Instructors: 
            TEIXEIRA, MELISSA
            Day and Time: 
            W 0330PM-0630PM
            Activity: 
            SEM
            Cross Listings: 

              HIST234 - CAPITALISM AND HUMANITARIANISM

              Description: 
              Reviewing David Brion Davis’ Problem of Slavery in Western Culture for the New York Review of Books in 1967, the great ancient historian Moses Finley concluded that Davis’s book was “one of the most important to have been published on the subject of slavery in modern times.” Yet he found the book inconclusive on the “decisive question” of why slavery was finally abolished in the West. “Nothing is more difficult perhaps than to explain how and why, or why not, a new moral perception becomes effective in action,” Finley wrote. Almost 50 years after this statement was made, the complicated processes that are being played out at the heart of capitalism, mobilizing both ethical issues and the pursuit of profit are still imperfectly understood, yet more fascinating than ever. This course’s working hypothesis is that, from a better understanding of the entanglements of capitalism and humanitarianism a better understanding of the nature of the “material civilization” can be achieved. For this purpose, the course does provide a multi-pronged approach including sessions discussing analytical arguments about the reasons for the entanglements of capitalism and humanitarianism, sessions devoted to historical turning points and sessions devoted to case studies and the exploration of specific mechanisms whereby capitalism and humanitarianism connect with one another. I wish in particular to try and make students aware of the problem of “quality” and its social construction, which is found at the heart of both capitalism and humanitarianism. By awakening them to this question, I also hope to provide an engaging way to understand the importance of economics in cultural history. Last, while the course will make verbal references to work on more recent periods, the focus is on a time frame that ends with World War I. This seems warranted given that the purpose is to unpack the entanglements of finance and humanitarianism “as they got intertwined.” Nota Bene, some a few non-mandatory readings in French.
              Instructors: 
              FLANDREAU, MARC
              Day and Time: 
              R 0130PM-0430PM
              Room: 
              MCNEIL CENTER FOR EARLY AMERI 105
              Activity: 
              SEM
              Cross Listings: 

                HIST234 - THE HORSE IN WORLD HIST

                Description: 
                Around 8000 years ago, communities in the western part of the Eurasian steppe began to breed and ride horses. This process of domestication made horses central participants in human history. The domestication of the horse transformed military tactics, human mobility and communication, agriculture, and entertainment. Humans have transformed the horse as well, producing about 200 breeds with unique characteristics matched to human goals. This course traces the history of equine-human relations across the globe, using the horse as a focal point to think about animal-human relations in societies ranging from prehistoric Europe to the Spanish conquests of Latin America. Our inquiry will address not only the place of horses in these particular phases of world history, but also by extension the debates about human-animal relations in our society today. The Major or Minor geographic requirement fulfilled by this course will be determined by an individual student’s research paper topic
                Instructors: 
                AGUIRRE MANDUJANO, OSCAR
                Day and Time: 
                T 0130PM-0430PM
                Activity: 
                SEM
                Cross Listings: 

                  HIST234 - The Catholic World, Medieval to Modern

                  Description: 
                  Rebuild my Church – this was the divine message that Francis of Assisi believed he heard at the dawn of the thirteenth century. It became the basis of his mission to reform Catholicism and, over 800 years later, his reformation was embraced symbolically when Jorge Bergoglio assumed the name of Pope Francis I. What exactly was the species of Catholicism that they encountered and in what new directions did they lead it? Just after the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation was celebrated around the world last year, this moment is a singular opportunity to study the longer term evolutions and reformations in the history of Catholicism in which the Protestant reformations are situated. This course introduces students to the global history of Catholicism over the last millennium. It will trace the development of this religion as an institution and set of doctrines interacting with concrete historical circumstances. It also will investigate what it was like to live Catholicism in different eras and different places, moving across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa between the High Middle Ages and the modern globalized world. No prior knowledge is required. Students will evaluate our knowledge about this subject through close examination of primary texts, material artifacts, audio-visual sources, and modern historical scholarship, posting regular discussion questions for the benefit of the seminar. The course will feature a midterm exam and a final essay of 8-12 pages (or final exam in lieu of a final essay). This course may be taken to fulfill the following requirements for Penn History Majors and Minors: Pre-1800, SEM, and one of the following geographic areas, depending on the topic of the student's research paper: Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, U.S.
                  Instructors: 
                  CHEELY, DANIEL
                  Day and Time: 
                  M 0600PM-0900PM
                  Activity: 
                  SEM
                  Cross Listings: 
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