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Undergraduate Courses

HIST 1100 – Law and History

Introduces the role of law in shaping human society. Explores how laws have evolved over the past two millennia in different contexts under the influence of different religious systems and political, economic, and social theories. Studies key legal texts and analyzes legal traditions in several regions of the world. Considers how laws have affected the everyday lives of subjects, slaves, and citizens.

Professor Katherine Luongo

MW, 2:50pm – 4:30pm

CRN: 33700

HIST 1130 – Introduction to the History of the United States

Engages with the major issues in U.S. history. Topics include the interaction of native populations with European settlers, the American Revolution and the Constitution, slavery, the Civil War, industrialization and migration, the growth of government and rise of the welfare state, media and mass culture, struggles for civil rights and liberation, and America’s role in the world from independence to the Iraq wars.

Professor Jessica Parr

MR, 11:45am – 1:25pm

CRN: 36530

HIST 1150 – East Asian Studies

Seeks to provide an understanding of the constituent characteristics that originally linked East Asia as a region and the nature of the transformations that have occurred in the region over the last two thousand years. Concentrates on China and Japan, and addresses Korea and Vietnam where possible. Also seeks to provide students with effective interdisciplinary analytical skills as well as historical, ethical, cultural diversity, and aesthetic perspectives. ASNS 1150 and HIST 1150 are cross-listed.

Professor Michael Thornton

MWR, 4:35pm – 5:40pm

CRN: 33701

HIST 1170 – Europe: Empires, Revolutions, Wars, and Their Aftermath

Examines how empires, wars, and revolutions have influenced the development of the modern world, focusing on Europe and Europe’s connections with the non–European world. Explores how wars and revolutions led to the emergence of modern concepts of sovereignty, the state, and citizenship and how global competition between states led to the emergence of empires. Traces the promise of allegedly liberating ideologies and the political and economic revolutions they fostered, repeated wars and their aftermaths, and the challenges of recent world developments viewed from the perspective of history. Explores how human diversity and difference have shaped modern societies through history and how human difference and multiculturalism have both fostered and posed challenges to civic sustainability. Interrogates the meanings of “modernity,” democracy and totalitarianism, capitalism and socialism, and globalization.

Professor Erina Megowan

MWR, 9:15am – 10:20am

CRN: 35318

HIST 1187 – Introduction to Latin American History

Surveys major themes in Latin American history from the arrival of the first human inhabitants until the present through a diversity of primary and secondary sources. Examines the social, cultural, political, and economic transformations that shaped Latin America during this period. Emphasizes how concepts of race, class, gender, and sexuality informed these changes and the people’s experiences of them. Topics include migration, colonialism and post-colonialism, war and revolution, slavery and abolition, nationalism and nation building, democracy and despotism, urbanization, modernization, religion, imperialism and underdevelopment, human rights, drug policy and international relations, labor, the arts, popular culture, and the environment.

Professor Louise Walker

MWR, 9:15am – 10:20am

CRN: 38823

HIST 1200 – Historical Research and Writing

Offered in conjunction with HIST 1201. Introduces incoming history freshmen to the history major in the context of other disciplines within the college and University. Offers students an opportunity to learn and to practice methods and conventions of research and historical writing.

Professor Jessica Linker

Does Not Meet

CRN: 33702

HIST 1201 – First Year Seminar

Provides an introduction to historical methods, research, writing, and argument in which all students produce a substantial research project that passes through at least two revisions, and that is presented publicly to other members of the colloquium.

Professor Jessica Linker

MR, 11:45am – 1:25pm

CRN: 33703

HIST 1218 – Pirates, Planters, and Patriots: Making the Americas, 1492-1804

Seeks to challenge students to understand more than the outlines of American history—Pilgrims, patriots, plantations— in the broader contexts of events that unfolded in and around the Atlantic Ocean in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Covers Columbus’s first landing in the Caribbean to the Haitian declaration of independence in 1804 and includes the Atlantic trade, piracy, slavery and other forms of labor, cultural and ecological exchange, and independence and emancipation.

Professor Chris Parsons

MWR, 1:35pm – 2:40pm

CRN: 38824

HIST/WMNS/ACFS 1225 – Gender, Race, and Medicine

Examines the basic tenets of “scientific objectivity” and foundational scientific ideas about race, sex, and gender and what these have meant for marginalized groups in society, particularly when they seek medical care. Introduces feminist science theories ranging from linguistic metaphors of the immune system, to the medicalization of race, to critiques of the sexual binary. Emphasizes contemporary as well as historical moments to trace the evolution of “scientific truth” and its impact on the U.S. cultural landscape. Offers students an opportunity to develop the skills to critically question what they “know” about science and the scientific process and revisit their disciplinary training as a site for critical analysis. AFAM 1225, HIST 1225, and WMNS 1225 are cross-listed.

Professor Natalie Shibley

MWR, 10:30am – 11:35am

CRN: 34954

HIST/ASNS 1246 – World War II and the Pacific

Studies World War II, the most devastating war in history, which began in Asia and had a great long-term impact there. Using historical and literary texts, examines the causes, decisive battles, and lingering significance of the conflict on both sides of the Pacific.

Professor Michael Thornton

MWR, 10:30am – 11:35am

CRN: 39374

HIST 1253 – History of Vietnam Wars

Presents a history of military conflicts on the Indochinese Peninsula from its precolonial settlement; internal developments and divisions; its stormy relationship with China; French colonization and the resistance to it; the rise of the Vietminh during World War II; the postwar struggle against the French; the impact of the cold war; and the involvement of the United States after 1950 in the creation of two Vietnams and in the conflict that engulfed it and its neighbors, Laos and Cambodia, in the decades that followed. Emphasizes the roles of nationalism and communism in the 20th-century conflicts and the motives for U.S. intervention. Films revealing the reactions of Americans to the escalating conflict are shown and evaluated.

Professor Peter Fraunholtz


CRN: 38825

LACS/AFCS/HIST 1261 – Global Caribbean

Seen through the lenses of literature, art, music, food, technology, and performance, we will explore Caribbean creativity and resilience across English, French, and Spanish linguistic and political spheres. We consider the global reach of Caribbean diasporas, highlighting the long local histories of Caribbean communities in Boston and the vibrant responses and resistances to colonial and political power, paying attention to four key threads throughout: Indigeneity, Blackness, Diaspora, and Creolization.

Professor Kris Manjapra

TF, 9:50am – 11:30am

CRN: 10780

HIST 1290 – Modern Middle East

Examines the political, social, and cultural history of the Arab countries of the modern Middle East, as well as Iran, Israel, and Turkey. Covers the period from the early 19th century through the late 20th century. Offers students an opportunity to obtain a basis for understanding the politics, social movements, and cultural expressions of the region in the late 20th century. Major themes include imperialism and colonialism; the creation and transformation of the modern states and their political systems since World War I; the transformation of Middle Eastern societies during this same period under the impact of colonialism, independence, regional wars, and oil; women’s and labor movements; and revolutions. Uses a variety of sources including memoirs, photography, literature, and political speeches.

Professor Ilham Khuri-Makdisi

TF, 9:50am – 11:30am

CRN: 37574

HIST 1389 – History of Espionage 1: Antiquity to World War II

Explores the history of espionage through a series of case studies from ancient Rome, Greece, and China; the Reformation; the Age of Discovery; the French Revolution; the American Civil War; World War I and the Russian Revolution; and World War II. Commonly referred to as the world’s “second oldest profession,” espionage is an intrinsic part of the relationships between communities, institutions, and states. Draws from a wide variety of published and unpublished primary and secondary sources, supplemented by modern theoretical and social science perspectives, literature, and films.

Professor Jeffrey Burds

MW, 2:50pm – 4:30pm

CRN: 38826

HIST/CLTR 1500 – Modern Chinese History and Culture

Introduces modern Chinese history and culture through literary works, films, and historical texts. Examines political, social, and cultural changes in China since 1800: the decline of empire; the New Culture Movement of the 1920s; the rise of nationalism and rural revolution; the changing roles of women; the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s; and China’s cinematic, literary, and economic engagement with the world since 1978. Taught in English and open to all undergraduates. CLTR 1500 and HIST 1500 are cross-listed.

Professor Philip Thai

MWR, 1:35pm – 2:40pm

CRN: 33704

HIST 2000 – Native American Resistance: Past and Present

Introduces the Indigenous peoples of North America and the academic field of Native American and Indigenous studies. Combines public history and public art, field trips, and original research to focus on the ongoing resistance to colonization and erasure and the resilience of Indian nations in New England and beyond. Covers particular themes, including the present-day impact of historical treaties and policies including land allotment, relocation, termination, boarding schools, and natural resource extraction.

Professor Nicholas Brown

WF, 11:45am – 1:25pm

CRN: 37505

HIST 2211 – The World Since 1945

Examines the political, economic, social, and cultural relationship between the developed and developing world since the end of World War II. Topics include the Cold War, independence and national movements in developing countries, the globalization of the world economy, scientific and technological innovations, wealth and poverty, the eradication of some diseases and the spread of others, the fall of the Soviet Union, Middle East turmoil, and the enduring conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Section 01 – Professor Malcolm Purinton

MW, 2:50pm – 4:30pm

CRN: 38827

Section 05 – Professor Peter Fraunholtz


CRN: 38828

HIST 2220 – History of Technology

Offers an interdisciplinary survey of the global history of science and technology. Explores how scientific and technical knowledge, processes, and innovations developed and circulated. Examines how science and technology both shaped and responded to society, culture, ethics, and thought.

Professor Malcolm Purinton

MWR, 9:15am – 10:20am

CRN: 38829

HIST 2301 – The History Seminar

Introduces history majors to advanced techniques of historical practice in research and writing. Offers students an opportunity to conduct original research and write an original research paper. Seminar themes vary; students should check with the Department of History for a list of each year’s seminar offerings. May be repeated without limit.

Professor Malcolm Purinton

MR, 11:45am – 1:25pm

CRN: 30302

HIST 2302 – Historical Writing

Covers learning and practicing methods and conventions of historical writing for publication. Adjuncted to a Seminar in History, which fulfills the Advanced Writing in the Disciplines requirement.

Professor Malcolm Purinton

Does Not Meet

CRN: 36632

HIST 2311 – Colonialism/Imperialism

Examines the military, economic, political, and cultural expansion of world powers since the fifteenth century, and the ways in which colonized peoples were ruled. Why did colonialist countries feel the need to conquer and dominate, how did they do it, and why did they retreat on some fronts? How did people resist and cooperate with colonialism? How did colonialism affect national and cultural identities? Colonialism is examined as a global phenomenon and from a comparative perspective that looks at particular case studies. Also examines decolonization in the twentieth century.

Professor Robert Cross

MWR, 1:35pm – 2:40pm

CRN: 36535

HIST/WMNS 2373 – Gender and Sexuality in World History

Introduces key concepts in the fields of gender and identity studies as they apply to world history since about 1800. Offers students an opportunity to understand the critical significance of gender, sex, sexuality, and identity to world events and how these contentious subjects influence the contemporary world. Surveys a series of major movements in geopolitics, labor, economics, culture, and society in order to analyze how individual and group identities, as well as mass assumptions about behavior and performance, have shaped these events. Gender, sex, and sexuality are integral to class discussions of work, welfare, art, culture, violence, war, and activism. HIST 2373 and WMNS 2373 are cross-listed.

Professor Natalie Shibley

MR, 11:45am – 1:25pm

CRN: 39376

HIST 2375 – The Tudors, the Stuarts, and the Birth of Modern Britain

Examines the history of early modern England as well as Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. Follows the development of England from a small backwater to one of the most powerful European nations by the end of the seventeenth century. Analyzes the constantly shifting relationships between the various cultural identities within Britain. Concentrates on British history not only from the perspective of the elites but also the ordinary people whose names have often been lost to history. Key themes include the growth of the British Empire, issues of gender, the interactions between England and the Celtic fringes, and participation in the political franchise.

Professor Robert Cross

MWR, 10:30am – 11:35am

CRN: 38830

HIST/JWSS 2431 – Immigration and Identity in the American Jewish Experience

Examines Jewish political, social, and cultural history from the arrival of the first group of Jews at New Amsterdam in 1654 to the present. Themes include immigration, adaptation, family life, religion, anti-Semitism, Zionism, the Holocaust, and American-Israeli relations. HIST 2431 and JWSS 2431 are cross-listed.

Professor Simon Rabinovitch

TF, 9:50am – 11:30am

CRN: 39375

ENGL/HIST* 3340 – Technologies of Text

When we hear the word “technology” in the 21st century, our minds may immediately jump to cell phones, computers, and other digital devices.

Alphabets, pens, and printing presses, however, are all technologies that have shaped reading and writing. The class will engage with textual technologies throughout the semester, new and old, via experiential labs in letterpress printing bibliography, and textual analysis, and in field trips to museums, libraries, and archives in the Boston area. This class is an interdisciplinary exploration of the history of the book, literary production, and book technologies, co-taught by a faculty members in English and History.

*History students should register for ENGL 3440; the class will count toward the History major.

Professors Erika Boeckeler and Jessica Linker

T, 11:45am – 2:25pm
R, 2:50pm – 4:30pm

CRN: 39082

HIST 3350 – Leaders and Leadership in History

Explores the classic historical question of whether leaders make history or history makes leaders. Some leaders are considered unquestionable successes, while others are deemed partial or abject failures. Examines how certain men and women arrived at leadership positions, considering personal charisma and historical contingency. Studies the choices leaders made in difficult situations, and analyzes leaders’ successes and failures through historical notions of ethics and justice. Also examines the question of legacy, to understand why some leaders stand out (for better or worse) and other leaders recede from historical narratives. Case studies from around the world include national leaders and unsung heroes, from the early modern period through the present. Sources include historical scholarship, archive documents, and cultural renderings.

Professor Louise Walker

MR, 11:45am – 1:25pm

CRN: 36537

HIST 4701 – Capstone Seminar

Offers students an opportunity to make use of advanced techniques of historical methodology to conduct original research and write a major, original research paper as the culmination of their work toward the history degree. This is a capstone research and writing seminar for history majors.

Professor Ilham Khuri-Makdisi

TF, 1:35pm – 3:15pm

CRN: 38831

Graduate Courses

INSH 5602 – Research Seminar: Documenting Fieldwork Narratives Oral History, Ethnography, Archival Practices

This course examines the ethics, politics, and social aspects of three primary areas of interdisciplinary research and knowledge production at the intersection of the social sciences and humanities: oral historyethnography, and archiving. Oral history is both a process (carrying out an interview) and a product (the recorded interview and its data); both a document (a source for information/data) and a text (a construction of memory and language). It is a form of first person, personal narrative, similar to and different from other forms of first-person narrative, including ethnography, storytelling, and memoir. Ethnography is a mode of witnessing, a method of research, and a form of narrative construction. It delves into issues of participation, power, and perspective; the nature of evidence; the reliability of representation; the relations between description and interpretation, between narrative and theory, and the self and the community. Ethnography foregrounds lived experience and vernacular knowledge as the basis for information and interpretation. Archiving is a critical scholarly mandate to manage and care for a body of information resources in diverse organizational and institutional contexts, and a context for the provenance and future of knowledge production.

Professors Ángel David Nieves and Doreen Lee

M, 4:35pm – 7:30pm

CRN: 34811

HIST 5102 – Theory and Methodology 2: Intro to World History 2

This course provides an introduction to the historiography of the field of World History, with an emphasis on the period after 1950. We will explore the development of this growing field within the academy, and we will investigate some of the major questions historians have been asking in recent world history scholarship. We will also explore a wide variety of methodological approaches to ‘doing’ World History, as well as related approaches such as transnational and international history. Required for first year PhD and World History MA students.

Professor Kris Manjapra

T, 4:35pm – 7:30pm

CRN: 33706

HIST 7221 – Topics in World History

This course is designed to help second- and third-year PhD students prepare for comprehensive exams and/or prospectus writing.  Second-year students will work on building reading lists, defining topics, and strategies for getting the work done. Third-year students will craft their dissertation proposals. Much of the course will involve independent and small group work, as well as presentations by students who have already completed their requirements. This class can be taken on top of an existing course load, as assigned readings are contained to reviewing proposals and the books on your own reading lists. 

Professor Victoria Cain

T, 4:35pm – 7:30pm

CRN: 36538

This seminar explores how legal systems develop, enforce their authority, collapse, and rebuild. Taking a globally comparative approach, we will study legal philosophy and the legal history of societies in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to understand their commonalities and differences. We will also consider transnational questions such as the history of slavery and the emergence of international law.

Professor Simon Rabinovitch

W, 4:35pm – 7:30pm

CRN: 34673

HIST 7251 – Topics in American History: The Digital Archive

This graduate-level course will consider the ways that the term “archives” is understood from multidisciplinary perspectives, including library science, digital humanities, and community activists. We will begin with a discussion of the meaning of archives, and cover some of the fundamental practices of digital archives. Topics will include an introduction to digital stewardship, assessment, the role of archives in research, community archiving, reparative description, and digital memory. The course will also explore data modeling practices for archival content. This course fulfills one of the elective credits for the DH certificate.

Professor Jessica Parr

R, 4:35pm – 7:30pm

CRN: 38832