Spring 2015 Courses

  • Hist 100gm: The American Experience
    Ethington

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    Patterns of American development from Colonial times to the present. Duplicates credit in former Hist 200.

  • Hist 100gm: The American Experience

    Perl-Rosenthal

    Monday / Wednesday

    10:00-11:50am

    Course Description:

    Patterns of American development from Colonial times to the present. Duplicates credit in former Hist 200. 

  • Hist 102gm: Medieval People: Early Europe and its Neighbors, 400-1500

    Bitel

    Monday / Wednesday

    12:00-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    This course is about life in Europe and on its borders over the long thousand years of the Middle Ages.  The course has two purposes: (1) It provides an introduction to the distant past of western Europe in the Middle Ages (from approximately 400 C.E. to 1400 C.E.) (2) It introduces students more generally to the study of history through the exploration of primary and secondary written sources, art, archaeology, and film.

    The course is organized chronologically and thematically in three parts: Europe after Rome; Life in the Medieval West; Expansion of Medieval Europe.
    It focuses on four main questions:
    1. What were the Middle Ages?
    2. How was life and thought different in medieval Europe than in other parts of the world?
    3. Why is medieval Europe important and/or interesting?
    4. What is the best way to study the distant past?

    TOPICS of lecture & discussion include:  Fall of Rome, barbarian invasions, Christianization, monasticism and miracles, daily life, family and kinship, love and sex, economic disaster, Vikings, economic recovery, Crusaders, pilgrimages, popes, and plagues.  Course format includes two one-hourish lectures (including occasional films) and one discussion section per week. Workload is distributed throughout the semester; grades are based on participation in section, blog postings, two short papers, and quizzes (instead of midterm and final.) Readings are mostly from primary source materials, but class also examines art, architecture, archaeological evidence, music, and modern (mis)interpretations of medieval people in popular culture. 

  • Hist 103g: The Emergence of Modern Europe

    Soll

    Tuesday/ Thursday

    12:30-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    Political, intellectual, and cultural developments in Europe, 1300-1815.  Renaissance and Reformation; absolute monarchy, scientific changes, and Enlightenment; French Revolution and Napoleon.

  • Hist 106g: Chinese Live: An Introduction to Chinese History

    Goldstein

    Monday / Wednesday

    10:00-11:50am

    Course Description:

    Study of the lives of selected individuals who have helped to shape Chinese politics and culture.

     

  • Hist 201: Approaches to History

    Kurashige

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    This class introduces students to the craft of history–what historians do, how they do it, and why it is important.  The difference between History 201 and other history courses is that here we are concerned not solely with what happened in the past, but with the process of creating historical interpretations.  Think about the difference between watching Star Wars and The Making of Star Wars—this class is more like the latter.  If all goes well, by the end of the term you’ll never again be able to simply read or hear a historical argument.  Instead, you’ll ponder its creation:  the numerous raw materials (sources) out of which interpretations are made; the author’s perspective, or point of view; the choices he or she made in putting together an interpretation; the implications of historical research for individuals and society; and the “magic” of historical writing, which can bring life to a bygone era from a jumble of disparate and uneven records. 

     

    The specific focus of this course is on the politics of historical productions.  By “politics,” I mean a broad conception of the process in which historians—as well as artists, public officials, and everyday people—create historical interpretations within a context of unequal power relations. Thus their arguments, along with the subjects chosen, are part of the politics of history.  In this way, historical texts are often created to instill patriotism, advance policy agendas, sell products, discipline students, and entertain the masses.  We will examine political influences on historical production mainly through discussions of U.S. history.  This reflects the instructor’s specialty and is not meant to discount other important fields of historical inquiry.

     

  • Hist 201: Approaches to History

    O'Neill

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    It has been said, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” In this course we will think about history as a foreign country, as an unknown and sometimes confusing place and then we will seek to understand it. We will examine how history became an academic discipline, how historians themselves attempt to understand the past and we will explore what happens when the past is appropriated by the present. We begin by looking at the history of history before moving onto the tools of the historian. Next we examine how different historians have inspected the same topic, in this case the Salem Witchcraft Trials, and what the implications of those viewpoints are. Finally we consider the relationship between the past and the present to grapple both with the role of history in the present and the place of the historian. The goal of this course is to teach students to become historians, but also to cause them to think critically about how histories are made and used.

     

    Readings:

    • John H. Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction
    • Dickinson, Henry E. Huntington’s Library of Libraries [selections] BB
    • Roy Rosenzweig, “Can History Be Open Source?: Wikipedia and the Future of the Past, The Journal of American History (2006) 93 (1): 117-146
    • Roy Rosenzweig, “The Road to Xanadu: Public and Private Pathways on the History Web,” The Journal of American History (2001) 88 (2): 548-579
    • Paul Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft
    • Carol Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England
    • Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
    • John Demos, The Enemy Within: 2,000 Years of Witch-hunting in the Western World
    • Gretchen Adams, The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials
    • Arthur Miller, The Crucible
    • Tony Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic
  • Hist 201: Approaches to History

    Antaramian

    Monday / Wednesday

    10:00-11:50am

    Course Description:

    Methods and theories of historical interpretation of evidence; uses of archives; modes of presenting the past to the public. Required of all History majors. Duplicates credit in former HIST 300.

     

  • Hist 215: Business and Labor in America

    Sargent

    Monday / Wednesday

    3:30-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This course traces the development of the American economy from its colonial origins to the present day.  By following the transformation of the economy and its workers from frontier farmers to artisans, to factory laborers, and finally into today’s information economy we will explore the changing economic landscape from a variety or perspectives.  To capture the multifaceted nature of this transformation, we will take an interdisciplinary approach, using the sources and methods of business, economics, and social history.

    We will chart the growing prosperity and development using models and methods drawn from economics, and will examine the impacts of changing technology, industrialization, human and social capital, institutions, and wage inequality.  Using the techniques and sources of social history, we will study ways in which these changes played out in individual lives and experiences of different groups of workers using diaries, images, and videos to reconstruct their lived experiences.  A business and management perspective will allow us to explore the role of entrepreneurship, the underlying structure of the economy, as well as its changing forms of organization, management strategies, worker incentives, and consumer behavior.

  • Hist 225g: Film, Power, and American History
    Schwartz

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    U.S. motion pictures as both a response to and comment upon major events, problems, and themes in 20th century America.

     

  • Hist 265g: Understanding Race and Sex Historically

    Williams

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    Analyzes how race and sex--historically constructed categories that have had a powerful impact in shaping the meaning of citizenship--have structured and been structured by laws concerning marriage, inheritance, slavery, immigration, and the allocation of public space.

     

  • Hist 270: Queens, Witches, Courtesans:  Women and Power in Renaissance Europe
    Harkness

    Tuesday / Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    Despite a popular belief that women were powerless in early modern society and culture, some women exercised significant power and authority during the period from 1450-1700.  This course will explore the lives of three categories or types of powerful early modern women:  queens, witches, and elite prostitutes known as courtesans.  These women often defied the stereotypes of “wife, mother, widow” prevalent in the period, and the cultural ideals of “chaste, silent, and obedient.” As a result, they help us to understand the many ways in which power relationships were forged and negotiated in the early modern period.  Our central question in this course will be: was it possible for a woman to be powerful in early modern Europe?  

    The readings for this course will consist of primary works (such as transcripts of the Salem witch trials, the writings of Elizabeth I, and the poems of Veronica Franco) and secondary works (such as Margaret Rosenthal’s The Honest Courtesan and Carol Karlsen’s classic account of the Salem witchcraft trials). We will also examine representations of queens, witches, and courtesans in modern popular culture, including fiction, film, and television (Elizabeth, Dangerous Beauty, and The Crucible, for example).

    Students will be expected to carefully read early modern texts as well as works by contemporary historians, actively participate in class discussions, and write a cumulative 15-20 paper using primary sources from the period. 

    Please note: this course has been specifically designed to serve as a lower division seminar and introduce students to major modes of historical thinking, writing, and argumentation as well as issues of evidence. The enrollment is strictly capped at 15. This course does not satisfy the 400-level seminar requirement for majors. Freshmen and sophomores are particularly encouraged to register for this course. No prior knowledge of the period is necessary, although some familiarity with the period (through a history course, or a course in another field such as literature, art, or music) is always welcome.

    Reading List: to come. Please see examples above for the type of works that will be assigned.

     

  • Hist 275g: The Worlds of the Silk Road
    Rorlich

    Monday / Wednesday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    This course is designed for General Education credit in the Humanistic Inquiry category .  It focuses on the exploration of economic exchanges and cultural interaction between Europe and Asia for some two millennia. We will embark together on a journey of discovery along the Silk Road that will take us from China to Venice.

    What we will be exploring, however, is not one road, but a network of roads across Eurasia linking East and West, North, and South. This will be, in fact, a world history journey focusing on the history of human interaction across space and time, across ecological and civilizational boundaries.

     

    Our exploration of the Silk Road will gift us with the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a human being by pondering upon the nature and diversity of human experience across diverse cultures. Since the Silk Road crossed the lands of the nomads as much as it linked the cities of the East with those of the West, for instance, this course will investigate the characteristics of the nomadic cultures of Eurasia and will address the issue of their interaction with urban cultures as diverse as those of China, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean basin. Even as trade is a crucial paradigm in this course, our investigation of the exchange of goods will be placed in a broad context of interaction whereby the links between economic exchange and socio- political transformations and religious, artistic developments will be thoroughly explored. As we explore those links, we will gain a critical appreciation for various forms of human expression such as literature, philosophy, and the arts by considering the circumstances that led to their emergence. Discovering and engaging with ideas and values that have shaped humanity across time and space we will become better equipped to sustain our own intellectual journeys. We will accompany the Europeans who traveled the Silk Road and discover “the otherness” of non-European lands through their eyes, just as we will discover Europe’s “otherness” through the eyes of the Eurasians. In the process, we will sharpen our critical thinking, creative and analytical skills, just as we will learn to evaluate ideas from multiple perspectives and formulate informed opinions on complex issues clearly and persuasively, whether orally, or in writing. The journey along the Silk Road will bring before our eyes a “global world” that existed long before the advent of the global economy of our own times, and will provide us with the opportunity to learn to collaborate effectively through traditional and new ways of disseminating knowledge as we discuss the impact of ”globalization” on  the identity of the individual.

    As our Silk Road journey will come to an end, you will realize that having successfully met the learning objectives of this class you will have mastered new strategies for locating, reading, and understanding relevant information from a variety of genres  and disciplines; informed by the specific approach of each you will become a clearer thinker and  a more persuasive writer who will know the relevance of situating current events in the appropriate historical and socio-cultural context to arrive at an optimum decision. The most important gift you will “take home” from this Silk Road journey, however, will perhaps be not only your excitement, but also your readiness for a life-long journey of learning and creativity.

  • Hist 326: The Victorians

    O'Neill

    Tuesday / Thursday

    12:30-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    Charles Dickens, the great Victorian novelist, famously began his novel on the French Revolution by declaring, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Such a statement could equally describe his own world. Victorian Britain was a place of polarities and possessed a population aware of and worried about those polarities. The rule of Queen Victoria saw the establishment of Britain as the economic, imperial, and political superpower of the period. It witnessed great moves towards political and social reform and the blossoming of new ideas about science and society. But it was also the age of William Blakes’ “satanic mills,” of Jack the Ripper, and of vicious class conflict. This class explores why these polarities emerged and how people made sense of them. It looks at why industrialization flourished in Britain and how it created two nations: the rich and the poor. It examines British moral crusades at home and aboard and at the implications for those who were seen as in need of saving. New ideas regarding science, trade, sanitation, and Britain’s role in the world will also garner attention, before we look at Britain’s growing doubts about its future at the turn of the century.

    Readings:

    • Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
    • Harriet Ritvo, The Animal Estate: The English & Other Creatures in the Victorian Age
    • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
    • Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic
    • Iain McCalman, Darwin’s Armada
    • H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines
    • Judith Flanders, Inside the Victorian Home
    • Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
    • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
    • John Stuart Mill & Harriet Taylor, Essays on Marriage & Divorce
    • Judith Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight

     

  • Hist 333: Korea: The Modern Transformation
    Hwang

    Wednesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This course explores the major events and themes of modern Korean history from the end of the 19th century to the present day.  Our course will focus on four themes, to each of which we will devote three to four class sessions.  The challenge for us will be to compare various perspectives on the theme and its related issues.  These accounts come from separate historical narratives, popular contemporary films, and primary source documents from the period in question.  The video viewing assignments are important because this course will concern itself especially with popular perceptions of Korean history as they relate to issues of national identity, foreign influence, and social conflict.  

    How these varying accounts contribute to the construction of a larger picture will be our ultimate concern, and your personal interpretation of historical meaning in our sources will be the basis of a weekly response paper, each about 600 words long.  Furthermore, each student will give two 20-minute presentations, one individually and another in tandem with another student, that will serve as a springboard for discussion. Each class session will require active participation in class discussion of the reading and viewing assignments, particularly in response to the study questions made available the week before.

  • Hist 334: History of the Samurai

    Piggott

    Monday / Wednesday

    12:00-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    The samurai has played a pivotal role in Japan’s history, and in this course we will explore the emergence and changing functions of the warrior at various historical moments.  We will also consider the character of samurai-centered government, society, and culture up to early modern times.  The roles of women, family, and religion will all be included, and we will take up issues of comparison:  how is the warrior in Japan different from warriors in China and elsewhere, and with what historical effects?

    This is a “hands-on” course in which analysis of primary sources and writing about your interpretations are emphasized.  An introductory course in Japanese history is highly recommended.

  • Hist 340: History of China Since 1800

    Goldstein

    Monday / Wednesday

    2:00-3:20pm

    Course Description:

    Western impact and dynastic decline; problems of the Chinese Republic; nationalism and communism.

     

  • Hist 345: Men and Women in U.S. History from the 1920's to the Present

    Miller

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    What did Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner have in common with the pioneering feminist Betty Friedan? Did Amelia Earhart’s history-making solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932 find any echoes in Tyler Durden, the mysterious character of the 1996 novel Fight Club? Among other things, these figures confronted changing ideas about individualism, and they confronted them as women and men.

    This course analyzes the ways women and men tried to discover and express who they were amid the possibilities and limitations that their historical circumstances imposed on them. By examining fiction, film, polemics, fashion, and other sources, we will uncover unspoken assumptions about gender in the eras of the “mannish woman,” the Boy Scout, the flapper, the proletarian man of the people, Beat writers, bachelors of leisure, single working women, women’s liberationists, and conservative Christians. Major themes related to the study of men, women, and gender expression will include consumerism, family relations, and sexuality.

    Two short assignments will combine research in primary sources and creative interpretation. There will be a midterm, a final, and an independent research project.

    Readings in the past have included such primary sources as newspaper articles, literary essays, short stories, novels, poetry, autobiography, and advice literature. Secondary readings might include biography, historical journal articles, and book-length academic studies of a single theme in gender history. We’ve also considered cultural productions from Ma Rainey’s blues to the Oscar-winning film The Best Years of Our Lives to Riot Grrrl punk songs.

    My teaching practice encourages a (small-d) democratic classroom, in which all course members are colleagues engaged in learning the historian’s craft, no what their major, personal identity, or level of preparation. Although I do lecture, I emphasize discussion because learning is a branch of the art of conversation.

    Please feel free to get in touch with further questions. My email is milleral@usc.edu.

     

  • Hist 349: Colonial North America 1600-1700

    Goodman

    Monday / Wednesday

    3:00-4:20pm

    Course Description:

    Most colonists in Jamestown died. In the early 1600s they starved, sickened, or (less often) were killed by Indians. However, by the 1760s Virginia and other once scrawny North American colonies were robust, diverse, and still growing. This growth came at a high cost to the natural environment, to enslaved laborers, to indigenous people, and to colonists. Encounters between Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans reverberated deeply in each culture and led to unprecedented changes in social and cultural life. In this course we investigate how culture, religion, money, and war shaped colonial America from 1600 to 1760. We will bring the past to life by immersing ourselves in primary sources and experimenting with digital history resources.

  • Hist 353m: Race and Racism in the Americas

    Sanchez

    Tuesday / Thursday

    3:30-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    Examination of selected topics in the historical development of racism with the goal of understanding the complex ways in which race has functioned in the modern world.

    Crosslist: This course is offered by the AMST department but may qualify for major credit in HIST. To register, enroll in AMST 353.

  • Hist 361: 20th Century U.S. History

    Ethington

    Monday / Wednesday

    2:00-3:20pm

    Course Description:

    Critical turning-points in the twentieth century; sources of major social and political change.  Course materials include primary documents and historic radio/television recordings.

     

  • Hist 372: Modern Latin AMerican History

    Becker

    Tuesday / Thursday

    12:30-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    Modern Latin American History, introduces students to the most significant people and events of Latin American history during the post-colonial period beginning with Latin America’s nineteenth century independence and persisting to this day.  In this class, particular focus is placed on the fashions in which Latin America’s complex populations attempting to make nations out of a series of neighborhoods.  While the modern histories of Latin America’s most important nations (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico,) will dominate the class, the histories of smaller yet crucial countries will also emerge.  Particular emphasis will be placed on some Latin American revolutions and counter-revolutions. 

    Restriction:  Registration open only to Junior and Senior class levels.

     

  • Hist 373m: History of the Mexican American
    Chavez

    Monday / Wednesday

    2:00-3:20pm

    Course Description:

    Racial and cultural background of Mexico; immigration and conquest; the Mexican in California and the southwest; the rise of contemporary Mexican-American consciousness.

    Crosslist: This course is offered by the AMST department but may qualify for major credit in HIST. To register, enroll in AMST 373.

     

  • Hist 375: North Korean History
    Hwang

    Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    North Korea remains entrenched in the headlines, for all the wrong reasons, but little of the coverage of North Korea tries to frame it in an understanding of its history. This course aims to do just that. We will begin our inquiry by considering the early 20th century, when the peninsula was ruled by Japanese colonialism, and track the development of North Korea as a distinctive country from 1945 to the most recent years. In addition to investigating the historical forces that shaped North Korea, we will consider how daily life in North Korea developed in accordance with the larger political and economic developments. Finally, we will examine the construction and perception of history in determining North Korea’s state, society, and culture.

     

    Having done the weekly reading and viewing assignments, students will be expected to come to class ready to engage in fruitful, considerate, and active discussion of the study questions, provided ahead of time for each session, and of other issues.  Each student will also write a weekly one-page analysis of that week’s readings, which discusses how the readings illuminate the theme for that class session, two short papers (a book review and a historiography review, each 4-5 pages), and a research paper on a topic of the student’s choosing in lieu of a final exam.

     

  • Hist 378m:  Introduction to Asian American History

    Kurashige

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    Comparative examination of the social, economic, and political experiences of Asian immigrants and their descendants in the U.S., 1840s-present.

    Crosslist: This course is offered by the AMST department but may qualify for major credit in HIST. To register, enroll in AMST 378.

     

  • Hist 382:  The Middle East, 500-1500
    Rouighi

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    Major topics, themes, and representative writings in the history and literature of the Arabic and Islamic World during the Medieval period.

     

  • Hist 389:  Modern Iran
    Khafipour

    Monday / Wednesday

    10:00-11:50am

    Course Description:

    History and culture of modern Iran from the nineteenth century to present through historical and ethnographic approaches to Iran today, richly contextualizing events and people. 

    Crosslist:  This course is offered by the MDES department but may qualify for major credit in HIST.  To register, enroll in MDES 313.

     

  • Hist 402: Cultural Heritage, Religion, and Politics in the Middle Wast

    Dodd

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    In-depth exploration of archaeology and heritage issues in the Middle East and their implications for politics and practice in modern Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

    Crosslist:  This course is offered by the REL department but may qualify for major credit in HIST.  To register, enroll in REL 402.

     

  • Hist 407: Europe in the 10th Century

    Glenn

    Tuesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    In 972 Maiolus, abbot of the great monastery of Cluny, was returning to the Frankish lands from Rome, where he had an audience with the pope. As he and his retinue traversed the Great Saint Bernard Pass, in the Alps, he was captured by Saracen pirates. These Arab Muslims ransomed him back to the monastery which was forced to sell some of its prized possessions to raise the 1000 pounds of silver demanded by his captors. A few years earlier, a German Roman emperor named Otto sent an Italian bishop, Liudprand of Cremona, on an embassy to the court of the Byzantine emperor; among other things, Liudprand was to request the hand of the Byzantine ruler's daughter for Otto's son. Liudprand was humiliated by and offended at the reception and customs of the Greeks he encountered in Constantinople. The emperor mistrusted him and viewed him as a dangerous heretic. Although the marriage was successfully arranged and did indeed take place, before the bishop had returned from the “rapacious, avaricious, and vainglorious” city, the two emperors were again at war. Half a century later, a queen of the Franks stood before a

    church in Orléans. She was trying to prevent a crowd of common folk from entering the church and killing the reputed heretics inside, a group of highly educated canons which included her former confessor. The heresy of these men, said to have been brought to Gaul by a woman from Italy, had been discovered and revealed by a Norman cleric who had gone under cover, infiltrated their group, and brought their practices to the attention of the king.

    On the king’s orders, these men were burned at the stake.

     

    This seminar uses these three events as points of departure for an exploration of the cultural landscape of Europe in the tenth century, conceived broadly as extending from the 880s through the 1030s. This period, perhaps the darkest of the so-called “Dark Ages”, represents a time of dynamic change in the social, economic, religious, intellectual, and political complexion of the lands stretching from England to North Africa and from Iberia to Byzantium. Students will work together with the instructor in an effort to make sense of these events and, perhaps more importantly, to develop from primary sources a picture of the larger contexts in which those events (and the larger cultural changes we detect) took place. This seminar therefore offers students an opportunity to do history rather than merely to study it.

     

    There are no prerequisites for this course, and students will find it relevant to any number of concentrations — students with questions about its applicability to their concentration should contact the instructor (jkglenn@usc.edu). In short, anyone prepared to work hard and participate in the seminar is welcome. But this is a demanding course, as it will require weekly readings of between 125 and 175 pages, most of which will be in primary sources. There will be regular writing assignments, usually not more than a paragraph, and a final paper of twenty pages in length.

     

  • Hist 417: History of Soviet Russia, 1917-1991
    Rorlich

    Tuesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This class will focus on the study of the Soviet state and society from its birth in 1917 until its demise in 1991. The objective of this class is to provide students with a multi-faceted approach that will facilitate a nuanced  understanding of the evolution of political, economic, and cultural institutions of the Soviet state  while also enabling them to assess the nature of the transformations underwent by Soviet society.  

     

    In order to achieve its main objectives, before launching the discussions of the Soviet period per se, this class will begin with will  a brief overview of the main themes of Russian history. This introductory discussion will conclude with a review of the economic, social, political, and cultural factors that contributed to the demise of the Romanov dynasty and ultimately culminated in the establishment of the Soviet regime in 1917. In this fashion, students will acquire a better understanding of the events that made possible the establishment of a totalitarian regime in Soviet Russia and will be better equipped to evaluate them critically.

     

    While the concerns of this class comprise all dimensions of Soviet history: political, economic, social, cultural, diplomatic, some of them will receive more extensive treatment than others. For instance, the emergence of the totalitarian state and its institutions, the  “Stalin Revolution”, the Second World War and Soviet Union’s emergence as a superpower, the Cold War, along with the transformations of the post Stalin period , including the “Gorbachev era” will  receive particular attention.  Hopefully, such an approach will facilitate a better understanding of today’s Russia and its leadership, as well as of the political geography of contemporary Eurasia while also being conducive to a critical evaluation of the demise of the Soviet Union.

     

    Systematic mass murder of large populations is one of the main features of Modern world history. Thus, this seminar will methodically explore and compare the origins, developments and forms of mass violence and genocide, focusing especially on the dark 20th century. Using both primary and secondary sources we will start with the study of the mass murder of indigenous people in different parts of the world from the 16th until the early 20th century (Colonial genocides form the Spanish conquest of the Americas until the massacres of the Herero in South West Africa by the Germans). The main focus lies on the exploration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christians in Turkey during World War I, the Holocaust against the Jews and the genocides in Cambodia and Ruanda. For comparative reasons the genocides following the partition of India and Pakistan as well as in Bangladesh and Guatemala are included, In contrast to common approaches, we will especially investigate the preconditions and early stages of persecution to discuss the transition to mass murder. For this purpose, we will also discuss case studies from Africa and the Americas, where groups were fiercely discriminated against without being exterminated. Analyzing these cases and others, we will compare the factors which motivated states and groups throughout history to instigate mass murder as well as people to participate in these mass crimes. We will trace the history of the public discussion about Genocides and dig into the still vital debate about an appropriate definition of mass extermination.

     

    Required Reading:

    Donald Bloxham: The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians, New York: Oxford University Press 2007 (Paperback)

    Ben Kiernan: The Pol Pot regime, Race, Power and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge 1975-1979, New Haven et.al: Yale University Press 2008 (Paperback).

    Wolf Gruner, Jewish Forced Labor under the Nazis: Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938-1944, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008 (Paperback)

    Scott Strauss: The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda, Harlow et.al: Pearson Longman (Paperback 2006).

    Etelle Higonnet: Quiet Genocide: Guatemala 1981-1983, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers (2008) (Hardcover).

    Nancy L. Clark and William H. Worger: South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid, Ithaca: Cornell UP (Paperback 2004).

  • Hist 422: European Intellectual and Cultural History: The 20th Century, 1920-Present

    Lerner

    Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This seminar explores major ideologies, intellectual currents, and cultural movements in

    twentieth-century Europe, focusing above all on the period between 1920 and the 1950s. Most of our readings will be primary texts, including political statements, philosophical tracts, artistic manifestos, and fiction.

     

    We will start with intellectual and cultural responses to the devastation of the First World War and then devote significant attention to Freudian psychoanalysis, artistic and literary modernisms, feminism, and Marxist political theory in Eastern and Western Europe. We then turn to the rise of fascism and ultra-nationalism in the interwar period and the crisis years of the Second World War. We will also survey the cultural politics of the Cold War and decolonization in the post-World War II period and we’ll conclude with deconstruction and the advent of the postmodern in the 1970s.

     

    If possible, we will incorporate visits to the Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies at LACMA, the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War in Culver City and USC’s Feuchtwanger Memorial Library to look at artifacts and primary sources. Assignments include a short paper, midterm exam and a final paper based on original research with primary sources.

  • Hist 455: Advanced TOpics in African-American History

    Williams

    Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    The purpose of this course is to recover the ways by which black Americans—men and women, slave and free—influenced the reconfiguration of a nation without slavery. Particular attention will be paid to how wartime and postwar experiences shaped what African Americans aspired to, what they achieved, and ultimately, the limits of their revolution.

    Major books required (subject to change):

    • W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935).
    • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Iola Leroy (1892).
    • Albion Tourgée, Bricks Without Straw (1880).
    • Tera Hunter, To Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War (1997)
    • LeeAnna Keith, The Colfax Massacre: the Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction (2008)
    • Lynnell Thomas, Desire & Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory (2014)

    Restriction:  Registration open only to Junior, Senior, Master Student, and Doctoral Student class levels.

     

  • Hist 462: 20th Century American Thought
    Fox

    Tuesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    Attention: Former attendance of a class on Holocaust or Genocide is recommended.

     

    The research seminar is aimed to teach skills and methods of historical research via exploring a vital question for today’s world: What enables people to oppose or resist racist ideologies, state discrimination practices or the active participation in mass atrocities? The students will approach the question by studying the historical conditions first and then developing projects independently researching acts of resistance to Genocides with a focus on Rwanda, Guatemala, Cambodia and the Holocaust.

     

    While most research on genocide prevention has attempted to identify the ideological or political causes which led to the Holocaust and other genocides, and more recently, why people commit murder, the theme of the seminar -resistance- has rarely been addressed. When the topic has been discussed, it has been mostly restricted, as in the example of the Holocaust, to organized or armed group resistance by Jews, Poles or Germans, or, more recently, to rescue efforts for the victims. While there is literature on the Holocaust available, publications on the resistance in other Genocides are scarce. This class will systematically enquire why certain individuals or groups do not necessarily follow the path of mass violence, especially at an early stage of such developments. Which personal, psychological, social, political, ideological and/or economic factors support individuals to resist discrimination and violence?

     

    Thus, the aim of the seminar is to encourage student original research on resisters using the internationally unique resources available at USC, as the 52,000 audio visual testimonies of holocaust survivors at the Shoah Foundation Institute archive as well as audio interviews and written testimonies from other genocides. Students will conduct interviews in the Greater Los Angeles area which inhabits large genocide survivor communities of Cambodia, Guatemala and the Holocaust. At the end, some of the student research results may be published with an online platform. 

  • Hist 480: Seminar in Middle East History

    Rouighi

    Tuesday / Thursday

    12:30-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    A readings and research seminar dealing with culture and politics in the history of the Middle East

  • Hist 498: New World Orders?  From the COld War to Contemporary International Relations

    Sarotte

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    This course compares three time periods – in 1918, 1945, and 1989 – during which the United States faced a similar challenge:  re-defining transatlantic relations in the wake of major conflicts.  Students will critically examine these three American attempts to compel, institute, or promote “new world orders” in Europe as empires waned, Communist regimes rose and fell, new forms of political integration and monetary union emerged, the Cold War unfolded, and technological advances reshaped business, culture, and politics.  The class then investigates the legacy of these attempts for international and transnational relations, particularly their impact on U.S. relations with the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine.  

  • Hist 498: War and Peace in Medieval Japan Taiheiki World, 1300-1400

    Piggott

    Wednesday

    3:00-6:00pm

    Course Description:

    The 14th century was an epochal age for Japan, as the monarchy, courtier-and-warrior relations, land tenure, the judiciary, international relations, church-state relations, and popular culture were all critically affected by the Mongol invasions and the failure of a royal restoration. The result was the rise of two rival courts and a civil war that raged intermittently from 1336 to 1392. A new shogunate also emerged, along with territorial warlords known as daimyô. Cultivators grew more autonomous, making this a critical time for the history of commoners. Readings in the seminar will include the Taiheiki (Chronicle of Great Peace) as well as works of poetry and drama that focus on war and peace at the time. We will also gain insights from art, architecture, and archaeological finds. The objective is to provide participants with insights into developments in Japan’s medieval age in the broad context of East Asian history. Ideally those taking the course will have some previous study of Japan and East Asia, but ultimately the desire to learn is key.

     

  • Hist 498: The Armenian Diaspora, 17th Century to the Present
    Antaramian

    Wednesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This course will introduce students to the historical processes that molded the modern Armenian diaspora. In an attempt to investigate the junctures intersecting categories such as diaspora, nation, nation-state, and empire, the course will devote special emphasis on transnational historical agents (such as merchants, labor migrants, priests, and revolutionaries) that connected dispersed to one another.

     

  • Hist 498: Writing Public Histories
    Harkness

    Monday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    The term “public history” is most often used in connection with site-based initiatives (museums, battlefields, historic houses, etc.), and the practitioners of public history include curators, archivists, librarians, docents, and local historians. This seminar explores the way that the written word constitutes a “public place” where historical information engages with a broad audience within and outside the confines of the university. Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, for example, is now a fixture atop the best seller’s lists. Jessie Burton’s novel about a 17th-century Dutch newlywed’s miniature house received excellent critical reviews here and in Europe. Television shows like The Tudors and Turn bring historical events and actors into people’s living rooms, while movies such as The King’s Speech and Twelve Years a Slave are popular on the big screen. A recent production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible played to sold out audiences in London, and historian of early America Mary Beth Norton wrote the essay on Salem witchcraft included in playbill.

     

    On Twitter, Geoffrey Chaucer has more than thirty thousand followers who receive his messages in Middle English, and King Henry VIII has nearly forty thousand. Good public history—whether site-based or text-based—must rest on sound methodological foundations, draw from a wide range of historical interpretations, and employ primary sources. We will therefore be using our skills as consumers and producers of history to examine, analyze, and (in some cases) practice modes of historical writing from Twitter feeds and blogs to novels and screenplays in an effort to understand how to communicate historical ideas effectively and responsibly while still engaging the reader. This seminar will meet weekly. Reading selections are to be announced, but will include works of fiction, screenplays, academic studies, and scholarly articles. This class is writing and reading intensive. A significant portion of your grade will be based on your attendance and preparedness for discussion, as well as the completion of in-class writing prompts. In addition, students will be expected to complete a final project of approximately 20-25 pages. This final project can be either a practical exercise (i.e. designing and producing blog content, writing scenes from a play/screenplay, writing an article-length work of historical non-fiction or fiction for a broad audience, etc.) or a comparative critical analysis of written works that are geared towards a broad audience and have considerable historical content (popular non-fiction about World War II, for example, or depictions of Henry VIII in film and television). Prerequisites: a minimum of two history courses or permission of instructor; History 201 is strongly recommended.

     

Student Advising

Advising

Interested in a History Major or Minor?

 The History Department has a dual advising system.  Melissa Borek, our Student Services Advisor, helps History students navigate the Department and University requirements.  Faculty advisors help students plan their major and offer guidance for pursuing the field of history both within and beyond USC.


To declare a major or address questions and issues concerning Dornsife College and University requirments or to have advising holds lifted, see Melissa Borek, SOS 153, (213) 740-1659.


To discuss History Majors, Minors, the Honors Program, overseas studies, courses, funding, internships, honors societies, or careers, make an appointment or visit the Faculty Advisors during their weekly office hours.


Fall 2014

Faculty Advising Schedule 

 

Professor Ethington:

SOS 167

Mondays| 3:00pm-6:00pm


Professor Glenn:

SOS 163

Mondays| 8:00am-9:00am

Wednesdays| 8:00am-10:00am


Professor Rorlich:

SOS 258

Thursdays| 10:00am-2:00pm

 

 


For more information, contact Professor Lon Kurashige, Director of Undergraduate Studies, SOS 264, (213) 740-1666.

  • Department of History
  • 3502 Trousdale Parkway
  • Social Sciences Building (SOS) 153
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 90089-0034