Course Details

HIST 100: American Farms and Food

What's for dinner? The answers to that question--and others like it--have never been more complicated or consequential than they are today. Behind a glance into the refrigerator or the shelves of any supermarket lie a myriad of concerns, ideas, and cultural developments that touch on everything from health and nutrition to taste, tradition, identity, time, cost, and environmental stewardship. This seminar will consider the evolution of these interconnected issues in American history, giving particular attention to the rise, inner workings, and effects of the agro-industrial food system and to contemporary movements that seek a new path forward.
6 credits; AI, WR1, IDS; Offered Fall 2021; G. Vrtis

HIST 100: Beloved or Dangerous: Cities in Latin American History

Beloved or dangerous. Ordered or chaotic. Modern or backward. What motivated these conflicting descriptions of Latin American cities? Why were cities like Buenos Aires, Havana, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro so important as places of political and economic power? How were these cities sites of cultural exchange for immigrant, Afro-Latin American, and Indigenous communities? In this course, we will answer these questions by exploring the histories of Latin America cities from the colonial period to the present. We will consider how urban spaces shaped people’s identities and daily lives and how these cities became places of national and global influence.
6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Offered Fall 2021; J. Schaefer

HIST 100: Confucius and His Critics

An introduction to the study of historical biography. Instead of what we heard or think about Confucius, we will examine what his contemporaries, both his supporters and critics, thought he was. Students will scrutinize various sources gleaned from archaeology, heroic narratives, and court debates, as well as the Analects to write their own biography of Confucius based on a particular historical context that created a persistent constitutional agenda in early China. Students will justify why they would call such a finding, in hindsight, "Confucian" in its formative days. Themes can be drawn from aspects of ritual, bureaucracy, speech and writing
6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Offered Fall 2021; S. Yoon

HIST 100: Exploration, Science, and Empire

This course provides an introduction to the global history of exploration. We will examine the scientific and artistic aspects of expeditions, and consider how scientific knowledge--navigation, medicinal treatments, or the collection of scientific specimens--helped make exploration, and subsequently Western colonialism, possible. We will also explore how the visual and literary representations of exotic places shaped distant audiences’ understandings of empire and of the so-called races of the world. Art and science helped form the politics of Western nationalism and expansion; this course will explore some of the ways in which their legacy remains with us today.
6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Offered Fall 2021; A. Adler

HIST 100: Migration and Mobility in the Medieval North

Why did barbarians invade? Traders trade? Pilgrims travel? Vikings raid? Medieval Europe is sometimes caricatured as a world of small villages and strong traditions that saw little change between the cultural high-water marks of Rome and the Renaissance. In fact, this was a period of dynamic innovation, during which Europeans met many familiar challenges—environmental change, religious and cultural conflict, social and political competition—by traveling or migrating to seek new opportunities. This course will examine mobility and migration in northern Europe, and students will be introduced to diverse methodological approaches to their study by exploring historical and literary sources, archaeological evidence and scientific techniques involving DNA and isotopic analyses.
6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Offered Fall 2021; A. Mason