Seminar

HIST230 - HISTORY, MEMORY, AND NOSTALGIA IN MODERN EUROPE

Description: 
Karl Marx compared history to a nightmare weighing on the brains of the living, but it can also be a refuge, a source of inspiration, and a constant companion. In this course, we will consider our own relationship to the past as we navigate the boundaries and intersections of history, memory, and nostalgia. Reading will consist of plays, novels, music, film, television, and painting. From the trauma of the Holocaust to the conflicted memory of empire, from preservation to imagination, we will consider a wide array of methods through which Europeans have engaged their past over the last two hundred and fifty years. How does the academic study of the past relate to individual and collective memories of it? If "living in the past" seems often seems counterproductive, in what ways can nostalgia be helpful? We will consider these questions as we study topics such as the birth of heritage movements in the nineteenth century, the formation of national museums, representations of war and violence, legacies of imperialism, and the history of memory after the cataclysms of the twentieth century.
Instructors: 
CHASE-LEVENSON, ALEXANDER
Day and Time: 
W 0200PM-0500PM
Room: 

VAN PELT LIBRARY 402

Activity: 
SEM
Cross Listings: 

    HIST230 - WAR AND CONQUEST IN THE MIDDLE AGES

    Description: 
    This course will focus on wars of conquest in the medieval period. The code of chivalry demanded that knights not only display great prowess in battle, but also adhere to Christian virtue. How did these square in practice? What constitutes acceptable violence and military intervention? We will seek to understand the medieval mentality of warfare in order to think about the place of war in society, how war was justified, why war was fought, and how it was fought. War, however, cannot be separated from its goals. We will thus go beyond the battlefield to look at how conquest of territories was cemented with the establishment and enforcement of a new order. Themes will include the rise of knighthood, ideas of just war, crusade, laws of war, territorial control and colonization. The course will also include two fabulous field trips to visit Penn’s manuscript collection and the arms and armor collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
    Instructors: 
    KUSKOWSKI, ADA MARIA
    Day and Time: 
    T 0130PM-0430PM
    Room: 

    COLLEGE HALL 311F

    Activity: 
    SEM
    Cross Listings: 

      HIST230 - GERMANY FROM UNIFICATION TO REUNIFICATION, 1870-1990

      Description: 
      One of the most iconic images of the twentieth century shows recently united East and West Germans atop the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate following the demise of the German Democratic Republic in 1989. What long-term factors led to the reunification of Germany following its post-World War Two division? This course examines and follows the developments of German history and historiography beginning with Otto von Bismarck’s “revolution from above” that unified the German states in 1870 until the reunification of a divided Germany under Helmut Kohl in 1990. Through instructor lectures, assigned readings, source analysis, and class discussions, we will explore themes such as Germany’s late and rapid industrialization and empire building through World War One; the (in)famous culture, changing gender conceptions, and failed attempt at democracy of the Weimar Republic; the social dynamics of everyday life during the Third Reich, World War Two and the Holocaust; the political and cultural dimensions of the Cold War division of Germany, including consumerism and youth culture; the fall of the Berlin Wall and East Germany, and reunification of the two German states; and finally, Germany’s complicated relationship to its Nazi past and Holocaust memory. We will also consider continuities and discontinuities in German history, including the question of whether Germany has followed a Sonderweg, or special path, that is singular among European states.
      Instructors: 
      RODGERS, JENNIFER
      Day and Time: 
      M 0330PM-0630PM
      Room: 

      CLAUDIA COHEN HALL 493

      Activity: 
      SEM
      Cross Listings: 
        Registration Notes: 
        CROSS CULTURAL ANALYSIS

        HIST231 - CONFLICT, LAW AND JUSTICE IN EARLY AMERICA: CROSS-CULTURAL APPROACHES

        Description: 
        This course provides a comparative study of law and legal pluralism in the early North American borderlands. From the sixteenth century through the early nineteenth century, Europeans, Native peoples, African descended peoples, and mixed race peoples committed acts of violence throughout the borderlands. People trespassed on land, killed other people and livestock, and stole property–non-human and human. In the resolution of intercultural conflicts, European and Native systems of law clashed. When a Menominee named Achiganaga allegedly killed two French traders in 1682, or when a Georgian official shot a Chehaw prisoner during an alleged escape attempt in 1802, or when Spanish officials accused Lower Creeks Juan and Jorge Galphin of raiding plantations on the Florida–Georgia border and taking seven slaves, eleven horses, and ninety heads of cattle in 1793–whose law governed the outcome? How and under what authority did Europeans prosecute indigenous people for murder? How did Native law impose justice when Europeans killed indigenous people? How did free and enslaved African Americans exercise legal power in both European and Native legal regimes? In other words, how and why did people from different cultures make their understandings of law intelligible to one another in violent contests over land, property, and freedom? Finally, how did these plural legal orders change over time? In this seminar, we will explore these questions to uncover the nature of legal pluralism and the ways it shaped the multiple meanings of law, justice, sovereignty, empire, and slavery in early North America. Drawing on a mix of primary and secondary sources, we will discuss competing ideologies and jurisdictional disputes in the constitution of law. We will also examine conceptual approaches to analyze how legal pluralism defined relations between Native peoples, African Americans, and settlers in early North America. Ultimately, we will consider how the legal complexity of the early modern era informs our understanding of the meanings of law and justice in the present day.
        Instructors: 
        GALLMAN, NANCY
        Day and Time: 
        R 0300PM-0600PM
        Room: 

        COLLEGE HALL 315A

        Activity: 
        SEM
        Cross Listings: 
          Registration Notes: 
          CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN US

          HIST231 - AMERICAN CULTURE WARS: SOCIETY, MORALITY, AND POLITICS

          Description: 
          Should statues of Confederate soldiers be taken down? Is it appropriate for football players to kneel during the national anthem? How should the United States treat refugees from predominantly Muslim nations? These questions are only the latest battlefields in the “culture wars,” the long-running conversation—or, more often, shouting match—about what the United States ought to stand for and how Americans ought to live. This seminar will explore how Americans have wrestled with questions of morality and national identity since the country’s founding. Two questions will drive our discussion. First, why do certain issues become the subject of fierce cultural conflict in American life? Second, do these conflicts enrich or undermine American democracy? We will focus on four moments in the history of the culture wars: the disestablishment of churches in the early United States; opposition to immigration, particularly of Jews and Catholics, in the late nineteenth century; campaigns to prohibit alcohol, culminating in the Eighteenth Amendment; and recent clashes over the expansion of gay rights. In each case we will explore the worldviews and experiences of Americans engaged in these conflicts, drawing on primary sources that will range from presidential debates and congressional speeches to cartoons and popular songs. At the semester’s end, students will write a lecture or research paper on a “culture war” topic of their choosing. Potential subjects include juvenile delinquency, the teaching of evolution, affirmative action, or gun control.
          Instructors: 
          SCHULTZ, WILLIAM
          Day and Time: 
          W 0330PM-0630PM
          Room: 
          FISHER-BENNETT HALL 20
          Activity: 
          SEM
          Cross Listings: 

            HIST231 - TOPICS IN US HISTORY: EARLY AMERICAN STUDIES

            Description: 
            Nowadays many Early Americanists have turned to cultural history. There have been different reasons for such a shift, which is built on solid empirical foundations laid by demographers and social historians beginning in the early 1960s. One contributing element was surely the history of early American religion, always interested in what sermons and doctrinal reform meant for clergy and laity alike. Another element came from cultural anthropology, with its interest in specific communities and the textual webs of symbolic meaning that tied families to families, and individuals to one another. American art and material culture offered its concern with social aesthetics and questions of exchange value. Still another set of connections came as the walls between early American literature and early American history--disciplinary fences, as it were-- started to crumble. But no matter the perspective taken, these approaches intersect in reconstructing the systems of meaning that held colonial societies together and, on occasion, signaled their transformation. This semester we will be examining key moments in the emergence of the field, works that explore interdisciplinary methods and theoretical approaches as well as offering new models for historical narrative itself. And while most of our readings and discussion will explore changes in early American culture between 1600 and 1785-- or roughly from the period of imperial exploration and initial settlement to the Revolutionary settlement, and native reactions to settlement colonialism-- some aspects of early national and antebellum culture will fall within consideration.
            Instructors: 
            ST.GEORGE, ROBERT
            Day and Time: 
            R 0130PM-0430PM
            Room: 

            COLLEGE HALL 311A

            Activity: 
            SEM
            Cross Listings: 

              HIST231 - JAPANESE-AMERICAN INTERNMENT

              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
              Room: 
              COLLEGE HALL 217
              Activity: 
              SEM
              Cross Listings: 
                Registration Notes: 
                CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN US

                HIST202 - POWER, POLITICS & ARTS FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO REVOLUTION OF 1848

                Instructors: 
                STEINBERG, JONATHAN
                KANT, MARION
                Day and Time: 
                T 0130PM-0430PM
                Room: 

                MCNEIL CENTER FOR EARLY AMERI 105

                Activity: 
                SEM
                Cross Listings: 

                  HIST204 - IMMIGRATION, RELIGION AND ETHNICITY IN U.S. HISTORY

                  Description: 
                  In his classic The Uprooted, historian Oscar Handlin said: “Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history.” Among all the concerns of every new immigrant group, establishing a place of worship is often of primary importance so that it may sustain and nurture the transplanted community. As successive waves of different immigrant groups brought different traditions to America, the increasing diversity would have certain consequences and directly affect ethnic relations around the country. As obvious as these three points may seem, however, they are rarely treated effectively in connection with one another — a fact that has distorted perception of the past and present. Recent hysteria over illegal immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment after 9/11 is nothing new: reexamining different periods of immigration, we may discern certain patterns of nativism in American history. Intended as an introduction to American immigration history and American religious history, this interdisciplinary course aims to clarify and stress the linkage of these themes and, further, to address the factors and issues involved with living in a pluralist society that, to some extent, has been defined literally by immigration and religious freedom. We will focus on the history of immigration and religion in America from the pre-Colonial era to the present and explore the history of Native American religious traditions, the Spanish and French Catholic missions, the rise of Protestantism, Judaism, and African American religious experience in the colonies and subsequent change over the centuries, as well as new religious movements and the more recent arrival of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam in the U.S. We will also explore various themes and topics in American religious history including religion and politics, religion and science, and religious pluralism.
                  Instructors: 
                  HANSON, RICHARD
                  Day and Time: 
                  R 0130PM-0430PM
                  Room: 

                  EDUCATION BUILDING 121

                  Activity: 
                  SEM
                  Cross Listings: 
                    Registration Notes: 
                    CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN US

                    HIST236 - GENDER, VIOLENCE AND WWII: EUROPE 1933-1950

                    Description: 
                    This seminar explores World War II-era Europe through the lens of evolving gender norms and relations. This turbulent period in European history magnified the so-called “gender troubles” that emerged in the wake of the First World War. From the question of equality between the sexes to the liberalization of sexual mores and divergence from the proscribed roles of men and women, gender had a profound impact on the prewar, wartime, and immediate postwar European landscape. Drawing on primary and secondary sources, we will consider the following questions: How did gender and violence shape the course of World War II and the immediate postwar from Britain to the Soviet Union? How can gender and sexuality help us to understand militarization, violence, and war? How did war and occupation impact relations between and among men and women on the home- and war fronts? We will complicate these questions by probing topics such as women’s support for war, masculinity in combat, everyday racial discrimination, eugenics, sexual violence and genocide and the ways in which they infiltrated the every aspect of Europeans’ public and private lives. Finally, we will discuss scholarly debates and historiographies on gender during World War II that have emerged since the early-1970s. **The instructor, Dr. Jennifer Rodgers, received her PhD in History from Penn in 2014 with a dissertation that investigates humanitarianism in post-World War II Europe. Since 1997, Dr. Rodgers has worked with government agencies and non-governmental organizations on issues related to World War II including the Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Department of State, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. She is currently finishing a monograph titled The Archives of Humanity: The International Tracing Service, The Holocaust, and Postwar Order. Dr. Rodgers has taught classes on German history, the Holocaust, WWII, and historical methods at the University of South Florida as well as Penn.**
                    Instructors: 

                    RODGERS, JENNIFER

                    Day and Time: 
                    R 0300PM-0600PM
                    Room: 

                    COLLEGE HALL 315A

                    Activity: 
                    SEM
                    Cross Listings: 
                      Syndicate content