Fall 2015 Courses

  • Hist 100gm: The American Experience
    Kurashige

    Tuesday / Thursday

    2:00-3:20pm

    Course Description:

    This course presents main themes and topics in U.S. history to promote a critical understanding of the nation’s past.  By “critical,” I mean establishing fair and consistent criteria for evaluating claims to historical truth.  We all confront a bewildering barrage of truth-claims about the past. Some come from teachers, textbook authors, researchers, and trusted authority figures, while others emanate from news media, entertainment, and advertisements. How can we recognize these claims?  Which ones should we believe?  And how, as consumers of history, can we make informed decisions? 

    This course is concerned primarily with the production and evaluation of historical “knowledge.” Unlike math, history is a subject directly connected to the inculcation of national identity and pride.  In this sense, history education is a political act.  Children and youth are trained to appreciate their nation’s past rather than to seek truth irrespective of national sentiment or political ideology.  It is difficult to be a successful truth-seeker because it involves recognizing and evaluating other people’s, as well as one’s own, beliefs about the past without relying on familiar national, ideological, racial, gender, class, religious, or other identities.  Much of the time we don’t even realize how these kinds of identities blind us to truth. 

    The goal of this course is to develop a heightened awareness of the presence of truth claims about U.S. history, and to effectively evaluate these claims based on analysis of course readings and research.  Given that one of the main purposes of K-12 history education is to produce “good citizens,” this course may be more of an experience of unlearning, rather than learning, the past.  The intended outcome is for students to become smart consumers who resist the compulsive requirements, seductive enticements, and unspoken biases of U.S. history education to think in fresh ways about the nation’s past, including its impact on the present.

    In rethinking the American experience, History 100 fulfills the General Education requirements for both the old and new system in the Cultures and Civilization category I designed to “introduce students to the norms and patterns of civilizations associated with the Greco-Roman and European traditions and the legacy of those traditions in North America.” This class also fulfills the university’s Diversity requirement.

  • Hist 101g: State and Society in the Ancient World

    Fischer-Bovet

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    This course fulfills the General Education requirement in Category I, Western Cultures and Traditions, and introduces students to the history and culture of the ancient world from the beginning of humankind until the fragmentation of the Mediterranean world around 500 CE. It will provide them with a global historical perspective and will teach students to think historically by connecting past and present and by asking questions of the past for a better understanding of the present. We will alternate between a comparative world approach and more in-depth investigations of the political, socio-economic and cultural developments occurring in the Mediterranean basin. Our unifying analytical framework will allow us to examine how human beings in different cultural areas responded differently to common problems and how this variety of responses shaped the society, economy, and polity over time.

     

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

    Glenn

    Tuesday / Thursday

    8:00-9:20am

    Course Description:

    There is a great diversity in the peoples who shaped the social, political, religious, and intellectual landscapes of European lands from the fourth through the fourteenth century.  In this course, we shall study them.  In particular, we shall explore the works of a number of individuals from four (distinct?) periods in the hope that, by getting to know them (both the works and their authors), we can learn about the various groups to which they belonged and the cultures from which they come.  In other words, our rigorous study of primary sources of various genres — narrative histories, biographies, laws, theological treatises, philosophical tracts, poems, letters, literature, and the visual remains of the period — will enable us to glimpse at least some of the norms and institutions of the different peoples who populated Europe during the period generally known as the Middle Ages. 

    We shall attempt to determine what some of these norms and institutions are and their similarities and/or differences across time and place as we visit the Late Antique World of the fourth century, the Barbarian West of sixth through eighth centuries, the Age of Cathedrals and Chivalry in twelfth-century northern France, and Late Medieval Italy (thirteenth- and fourteenth-centuries).  What do these cultures share? our authors? their works?  How are they alike?  And how do they differ?  From the sources, students are encouraged — indeed, really required — to develop their own answers to these questions over the course of the semester.  Lectures will, at times, supplement our readings, but much of class time will be devoted to discussion of the sources as we analyze what they can (and cannot) tell us about their authors, about the cultures in which they lived, and about the pasts (real or imagined) out of which their cultures and Europe grew.

     

  • Hist 103g: The Emergence of Modern Europe

    O'Neill

    Tuesday/ Thursday

    8:00-9:20am

    Course Description:

    Between 1350 and 1800 there lived many individuals whose names remain familiar to us today: Michelangelo, Gutenberg, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Napoleon.  However, where their importance lies and how they fit into the larger picture of the period is less well known and this class seeks to explore, among other things, who made Michelangelo’s art possible, why Columbus sailed the ocean blue, why the printing press was important, and who besides Martin Luther participated in the Reformation. During this period people faced massive religious change, new forms of knowledge, changing forms of governance, a geographical reorientation and all the upheaval put in motion by these alterations. This class traces the causes and consequences of these changes. It asks why the Italian city states gained so much power in the fifteenth century and why they became the crucible of the Renaissance. It looks at the impact of the Reformation upon people’s sense of self and upon forms of government. It examines the reasons behind the growth of the state, the consequences of European imperial expansion, and the influence changing forms of knowledge had upon this world. It asks why we see this period as witnessing and producing what we call the “modern” world.

    Selected Readings:

    Gene Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence

    Geoffrey Symcox and Blair Sullivan, eds., Christopher Columbus and the Enterprise of the Indies: A Brief History with Documents

    Barbara Diefendorf, ed., The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: A Brief History with Documents

    Peter A. Morton, The Trial of Tempel Anneke: Records of a Witchcraft Trial in Brunswick, Germany, 1663

    Lynn Hunt, ed., The French Revolution and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History

  • Hist 104g: Modern Europe

    Lerner

    Tuesday/ Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    This General Education course explores major themes in the history of modern Europe, starting with the philosophical innovations of the Enlightenment, the political achievements of the French Revolution, and the economic and social consequences of industrialization.  Rather than attempting a comprehensive, chronological survey of this period of history, we explore five major topics in depth: (1) The Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Making of Modern Politics; (2) The Industrial Revolution and the Liberal Order: Politics, Class and Gender; (3) Empire, Race and the “New Imperialism;” (4) The End of the Liberal Order: World War I, Modernism and Revolution; and (5) Counterrevolution:  War, Fascism and Mass Death in the Twentieth Century.  We conclude with a final section on Europe during and after the Cold War, surveying the ruins of the twentieth century from the vantage point of a post-communist, post-fascist, post-colonial and (one hopes) post-genocidal present.  Course requirements include two papers, a midterm and a final exam.

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

    Goldstein

    Monday/ Wednesday/Friday

    10:00-10:50am

    Course Description:

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

  • Hist 180: The Middle East

    Rouighi

    Tuesday / Thursday

    8:00-9:20am

    Course Description:

    This course focuses on modern interactions between history, geography, cartography, nomenclature, and social democracy. Organized thematically and chronologically around the history of global exchanges such as imperialism and colonialism, it pays special attention to the rich history of fashion, sports, and communications.

  • Hist 201: Approaches to History - Historians, Knowledge, Public Memory and Nation

    Ethington

    Monday / Wednesday

    8:30-9:50am

    Course Description:

    What do we know about the past, and how do we know it?  What should history be about?  What are the differences between “knowledge,” “understanding,” and “meaning” of the past?  How do citizens and historians and others decide how to interpret the past of their own nation?  When (and where, how and why) does the transition from “current events” to “historical events” take place?  When issues of great moral gravity are involved, can historical representation achieve any sort of neutral, objective, or factual status?  How do cultural differences between and within nations shape the answers to all of the above? What should be the goal of historical interpretation when intrinsically ethical questions of justice, loyalty, national identity, national defense, war crimes, and human rights are concerned?

     

    Based on the readings in this course and on the twice-weekly seminar discussions, students are expected to develop their own answers to the questions posed above, and to apply them to the mass killing of civilians by the United States and the Allied forces during World War II.

     

  • Hist 201: Approaches to History

    Glenn

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    Although it comes in perhaps as many versions as instructors who teach it, History 201 typically aims to offer students a somewhat systematic overview of a range of approaches to the study of the past, that is, to the discipline of History.  This version of the course has no such ambitions.  Instead, it consists of a hodge-podge of exercises and undertakings designed to raise questions and problems of the sort historians must consider in their reflection on the past and in their research and writing about it. 

     

    There are four essential, if seemingly distinct, elements of this course; some of them will be interwoven over the course of the term; others will stand alone with no obvious connection to the others. 

     

    1.  Over the course of the term, students shall create a personal archive of their own writing and documents related to — and which relate — their lives and experiences.  These archives will ultimately be combined so as to create a body of material, a class archive,  that students will then use to write a term paper about some aspect of our world.  This paper will be informed by the types of historical questions and methodological considerations we develop over the course of the term and based exclusively on the class’s archival materials that we have at our disposal.

     

    2.  We shall also read a series of seminal essays written by scholars and watch a handful of films.  In different ways, these essays and films will articulate and illustrate some of the fundamental problems and questions with which historians have struggled in the modern study of the past.  They will also inform our creation and analysis of the personal and class archives.

     

    3.  In an effort to learn how to read current scholarship and frame historical questions, we shall read together one (as yet to be determined) monographs.

     

    4.  Each student will study the work of one faculty member of the history department.  Indeed, students can choose any scholar whose work they wish to read, read one of their books, analyze their approaches to their topic and the ways they’ve chosen to present their findings.  Students will each offer a short presentation in class about the historian and, ultimately, a brief written review of the work in comparison to one of the monographs from no. 3, above.   Of course, like every other piece of writing students do, this review will be included in the student’s personal and thus the class archive.

     

    Perhaps it goes without saying that this is a demanding course.  Students will be expected to write regularly and in various genres.  They will be expected to read carefully one another’s writing.  And it is my expectation that all students come to all class meetings and that everyone is prepared for class discussion and participates actively in it.

     

  • Hist 240: The History of California

    Ethington

    Monday / Wednesday

    10:00-11:50am

    Course Description:

    History 240g is a broad survey of the history of California, considered as a geo-historical region with a very deep past.  The power of its many pasts (seen from many perspectives) over later generations through to our own, is the central consideration of this lecture and discussion format course.  Moving quickly through historical periods across, especially, the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, our aim is to study, and learn to develop our own interpretations of, the major developments and contested meanings of “California” through time.  “California” is in quotation marks because modern-day California, with well-defined boundaries and a powerful central state government, is really the product of many centuries of development, as it has been governed by Native Americans, Spain, Mexico, and finally the United States.

  • Hist 260: Dramatizations of Korean History

    Hwang

    Tuesday / Thursday

    12:30-1:50pm

    Course Description:

    In contemplating the practice and perception of history, this course will analyze, interpret, and “read” popular depictions of Korean history and consider how they relate to issues of national identity, foreign influence, and social conflict. Korean history presents a special opportunity because of South Korea’s very sophisticated popular culture industry and this industry’s welcome attention to the re-imagining of historical figures, events, and settings.

     

    Through an examination of recently produced television dramas, feature films, and works of fiction (all in translation or with English subtitles), this course will focus on several historical themes, such as the Korean War of 1950-53, from ancient times to the recent past.  Assignments include a short weekly essay and two major multimedia projects. The topic for each project will be the comparison of multiple works on a single historical theme or topic.

     

  • Hist 265g: Understanding Race and Sex Historically
    Williams

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    This course 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. The course fulfills requirements toward USC’s new interdisciplinary major in Law, History, and Culture.

     

    Scope & Periodization: Focusing principally on the period between the European colonization of North America and the 1920s, we examine fundamental social, political, economic, and legal problems that have shaped ideas of freedom, citizenship, equality, and power: sex, marriage, work, revolution, urbanization, industrialization, and immigration. Students gain familiarity with such key events as the framing of the U.S. Constitution, the lead-up to and aftermath of the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, and the development of federal immigration policies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

     

    Learning Objectives: This course applies methods of social analysis from the social science disciplines of history, law, critical race theory, and gender and sexuality studies. It helps students understand the nature of historical evidence, including (a) primary documents--including legislation and legal cases, (b) secondary sources (historical overviews); and (c) still images ranging from high art to risqué political cartoons. We learn about the interplay between human sexual interactions and the organizations--such as courts, political parties, academia, and diverse groups of reformers--seeking to understand, control, and channel the consequences of such interactions. Students develop skills in chronological reasoning, contextualization, and historical argumentation.

  • Hist 310: Shadow of God on Earth:  Religion/Politics in Medieval Persia
    Khafipour

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    Political and dynastic history of Iran from the Arab conquest in the seventh to the eighteenth century.

    • Crosslist: This course is offered by the MDES department but may qualify for major credit in HIST. To register, enroll in MDES 312.

     

  • Hist 324g: Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union
    Rorlich

    Tuesday / Thursday

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    This course is designed to fulfill the requirements of the General Education courses in the Social Analysis Category.  It focuses on the investigation of those Inner Eurasian societies whose cultures and identities were shaped not only by Islam, but also by their encounter with the colonial OTHER, whether in its Tsarist or Soviet form.  To that end, we will analyze the dynamics of power with a particular emphasis on the analysis of constructions of identity, and the relationship between SELF and OTHER.  We will examine political, social, economic, and cultural developments that shaped not only the nature of the Russian state, but also the fabric of its multi-ethnic society since the sixteenth century; our discussions will center on issues such as: war an imperial conquest, population politics, nation building, modernity and religion, empire and gender.  History 324g aims to equip students with the basic empirical information and analytical approaches that can facilitate a clear understanding of the dynamics of religion, culture, and politics in shaping one of the world’s major civilizations.  Guided by a comparative perspective, this class focuses on ethno-religious communities outside the “core” Middle Eastern countries, and makes a contribution to better understanding the cultural diversity of the “Muslim World” against the background of its unity of faith.  Its focus on an area outside the “core” makes it possible to ascertain to what extent the remarkable diversity of “Russian Islam”, was the outcome of the power dynamics of an empire that generated many levels of interaction between the settled and the nomadic, urban and rural, Muslim and non-Muslim societies.

     

    Using methodologies drawn from history, literary, and cultural studies, we will learn how to “decipher” different types of sources that inform our knowledge regarding the impact of the political, socio-economic, and cultural landscape on human behavior.  We will read secondary sources (historical overviews and commentaries), along with primary historical documents and literary works that address those issues that represent the primary focus of our semester-long intellectual journey; we will learn to contextualize, analyze, and critique the information/representation that these sources offer.  The intellectual exercise that will require us to use different methodological and source approaches will be particularly useful in sharpening our critical thinking skills and acquiring a better appreciation of the relevance of these “texts” for understanding not only the past, but also contemporary events.  Students will be challenged to ponder which of the perspectives they identified seem most compelling, and WHY, and also reflect on the implications of one form of knowledge emerging as more powerful than others. 

     

  • Hist 331:  The British Empire:  1588-1834
    O'Neill

    Tuesday / Thursday 

    9:30-10:50am

    Course Description:

    Everyone knows that at some point “the sun never set on the British Empire,” but rarely do we think about how it rose in the first place, this is the question this class seeks to explore. We will begin by looking at how social, religious and economic impulses slowly pushed the British to establish colonies and trading connections across a wide segment of the globe. We will examine how people thought about these colonies and the people they encountered (and how those people thought about them). We will then turn to the establishment of an intertwined Atlantic economy and the rise of the slave trade. Then the implications of this empire will be brought under consideration: Did it create alternate societies?  How did it impact people’s sense of identity? Did gender play a role? How confident in their supposed superiority were the British? Next, we will look at the eruption of the American Revolution and the abolition of slavery and whether the period following it saw the birth of a new British Empire.

     

    Selected Readings:

    P.J. Marshall, ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. 2: The Eighteenth Century

    Stephen H. Gregg, ed., Empire and Identity: An Eighteenth Century Sourcebook

    Linda Colley, Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850

    Peter Mancall, ed., Envisioning America

    Aphra Behn, Oroonoko

    Defoe, Defoe, A General History of…the Most Notorious Pirates

    Thomas Paine, The Crisis

     

  • Hist 365: The Second World War

    Godart

    Monday

    4:00-6:50pm

    Course Description:

    The Second World War defined the Twentieth Century and in many ways the world we live in today. But as time goes by, we are still struggling to understand what brought the world into an unprecedented orgy of violence, a wholesale rejection of democracy, liberalism, and internationalism, while also producing new bonds, ideas, and utopian dreams. While you probably know already quite a lot about this conflict, it is still surprisingly difficult to gain a truly global and balanced grasp. What we know is often skewed through the lenses in the nations we grow up in. Did you know that both Romania and Hungary suffered more combat casualties than the United States? That 90% of German casualties fell while fighting, not Britain or America, but the Soviet Union? That 3 million Indians, 2 million Vietnamese, and even more Chinese and Ukrainians died from hunger? That for many people conflict continued after 1945?

     

    Objectives: by the end of this class, you will:

    • Understand the big picture, causes and different aspects of the war in the Asia Pacific region and Europe, and how they related to each other.
    • Know how and why WW2 shaped the Twentieth Century
    • Experiment with balancing different aspects in historical explanation of war, including political, strategic, economical, cultural, ideological, and psychological aspects.
    • Gain a grasp of current discussions in studies on the Second World War
    • Delve into some much less known, but significant stories of the war

     

  • Hist 374: History of Mexico

    Becker

    Tuesday / Thursday

    2:00-3:20pm

    Course Description:

    This course traces Mexico’s long, enthralling history from before the sixteenth century Spanish conquest into the twenty-first century.  It focuses deeply on the ways “ordinary” Mexicans experienced and transformed their complex and glorious histories; there is much emphasis on the Mexican revolution of 1910.

  • Hist 375: North Korean History
    Hwang

    Monday

    4:00-6:50pm

    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.  Each student will also write a weekly one-page analysis of that week’s readings.  Other written assignments include a historiography review and a research paper.

     

  • Hist 379: Arabs in America

    Gualtieri

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    Arab immigration and acculturation in the U.S. from late-19th century to present; emphasis on community formation, race, religion and gender.

     

  • Hist 383: The Modern Middle East

    Rouighi

    Tuesday / Thursday

    11:00-12:20pm

    Course Description:

    This course looks at the intersection between the history of knowledge and learning, cultural expressiveness, and mobility. Taking the modern as a starting point, it explores thematic constructions that emerge from it, and which in turn, end up defining it. The complex history of cultural borrowings, the emergence of politeness, and other such phenomena is brought to bear on the rise of scientific discourse and the modern subject.

  • Hist 389:  Modern Iran: Fall of Monarchies and Rise of Islamic Republic

    Khafipour

    Tuesday / Thursday

    12:30-1:50pm

    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 429:  Street Life: Urban Culture in Modern Europe

    Greene

    Monday / Wednesday

    3:30-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    The 19th and early 20th century European city as social artifact, cultural setting and object of fascination for its contemporary inhabitants.

  • Hist 432: Britain in the Eighteenth Century

    O'Neill

    Tuesday

    3:00-5:50pm

    Course Description:

    The British spent much of the eighteenth century trying to figure out what it meant to be British. When the eighteenth century dawned the term the British Isles designated a group of islands off the coast of the European Continent, by the end of the century these islands, whether their inhabitants liked it or not, were part of one united political entity with a growing empire attached to it. They also went from being one of the most politically radical states in Europe to being an emblem of stability and conservatism. But the very fabric of people’s lives changed as well as consumerism grew, the nation became more urbanized, and as expectations of social position altered. This class explores how this happened, how people thought about it, and what it was like to live within it. It examines the fraught relations between England, Scotland, and Ireland, the growing power of the state, the lives and growing expectations of all citizens, the emergence of Britain as a trading and industrial power, and the strains placed upon it by the revolutions that shook America, the Continent, and Britain itself at the end of the century. It was this crucible of war, upheaval, and wealth that created the state known as Britain.

     

    Selected Readings:

    Steven Pincus, ed. England’s Glorious Revolution, 1688-89

    Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837

    John Brewer, The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783

    Erin Mackie, ed. The Commerce of Everyday Life: Selections from The Tatler & The Spectator

    Richard Sheridan, The Rivals

    John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera

    Randy Sparks, The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey

     

     

  • Hist 444:  Mass Violence and Comparitive Genocide in Modern World History
    Gruner

    Tuesday / Thursday

    2:00-3:20pm

    Course Description:

    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)

    Required articles and book chaptersare posted on Blackboard

     

  • Hist 453:  The Age of Emancipation

    Williams

     Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    Slavery extended well beyond the geographical borders of the U.S. South, and struggles over emancipation took place well before and after the 1860s. Through a focus on legal texts ranging from the late 18th through the late 19th centuries, we will investigate when the Age of Emancipation was, why it came about, and who it principally affected. We will pay special attention to the different methods by which those defined as “chattel” slaves in the Atlantic World both attained and redefined the meaning of liberty. A central focus of this course will be the relationship between slavery and the evolution of racial status law over the course of the long 19th century. Active participation in weekly discussions and the development of a substantial research paper will constitute the main basis for the grade. Enrollment limited to 15 students.

  • Hist 457:  The American West
    Starr

    Wednesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    The nation's westward movement from Colonial times to the present, with emphasis on the frontier's effect on American life and institutions.

  • Hist 458:  History of California
    Starr

    Tuesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    Seminar on the exploration, colonization, and development of Hispanic California; coming of the Americans; political, economic, and cultural development of California since its acquisition by the United States.

     

  • Hist 473: Colonial Latin America Seminar

    Becker

    Wednesday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This course focuses on the connections between Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas and the Spanish “conquerors.”  It reveals the fascinating worlds these people created during Latin America’s colonial period.  Students will be invited to enter complex and enthralling historical worlds from the perspectives of multiple colonial Latin Americans, to consider the ways that indigenous people deeply transformed Spanish imperialism and thus colonial Latin America.  Considerable attention will be paid to Latin American racial, ethnic, and gender relations.

     

    • Restriction: Registration open to the following class levels: Junior, Senior

     

  • Hist 481:  Producing Film Stories
    Rorlich

    Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    The catalog title of History 481 notwithstanding, this is a course that could be best described as a seminar focusing on the investigation of some of the major themes of Russian history by engaging the students in a comparative analysis of the accounts of historical events preserved in historical documents with the representation of the same events in film.  When “reading” films and historical texts, we will pay particular attention to how the reflect commonly held assumptions about “historic truth” and will also explore how/when/to what degree film narratives are shaped by political, ideological agendas.

     

    To stay true to the goal of the seminar, every week we will be “reading” films and analyzing relevant historical sources; in some cases we will screen movies in their entirety, in class.  Most of the times, however, students will have to view the assigned films BEFORE class, even though we will “revisit” some of the excerpts in class while discussing them.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS:

    1. Course Reader
    2. R. Taylor and J. Christie, eds., The Film Factory.  Russian and Soviet Cinema in the Document, 1898-1939 (Routledge, 2005)
    3. B. Beumers, A History of Russian Cinema (Oxford, 2008)
    4. N. Concee, The Imperial Trace.  Recent Russian Cinema (Oxford, 2009)

     

  • Hist 487: The United States since 1939

    Starr

    Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    A survey of the accelerating changes that transformed the nation's domestic life and revolutionized America's role in world affairs.

     

  • Hist 492: Honors Thesis

    Lerner

    Thursday

    2:00-4:50pm

    Course Description:

    This course is designed to provide a capstone experience in history, assisting each student in completing his or her honors thesis as part of the requirements for receiving honors in the history department. 

     

    We will focus on the practical steps towards this objective, and will thus spend a good deal of class time reading and engaging with your drafts.  The goal is to create a supportive community within which we can all work to improve writing, increase analytical rigor and resolve problems.

     

    Requirements for acceptance to the History Department Honors Program. 

    • 3.5 History GPA

    • B+ or higher in HIST300

    • Completion of at least one 400-level seminar in area of concentration

    • Approval of Faculty Thesis Advisor

     

Commencement '14

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, please 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.


Spring 2015

Faculty Advising Schedule 

 

Professor Ethington:

SOS 167

Thursdays| 10:30am-12:30pm


Professor Glenn:

SOS 163

Tuesdays| 12:00pm-2:00pm

Thursdays| 9:00am-10:00am


Professor Rorlich:

SOS 258

Tuesdays| 10:00am-11:00am

Thursdays| 10:00am-11:00am

 

 


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