This course examines the relationship between race, real estate, wealth, and poverty in the United States, with an emphasis on the period from the New Deal to the present. We will learn about the instrumental role homeownership and residential location has played in shaping the educational options; job prospects, living expenses, health, quality of life, and wealth accumulation of Americans in the twentieth century, and how race became--and remains --a key determinant in the distribution of the homeownership's benefits in American society. We will study the structure and mechanics of the American real estate industry, the historical and contemporary dynamics of housing markets in urban and suburban America, and the impact of governmental policies and programs on the American economy and built environment. We will look at how the promise of perils of homeownership has shaped ideas of race and belonging, and informed the political ideologies and material interests, of both white and black Americans. We will learn how and why real estate ownership, investment, and development came to play a critical role in the formation and endurance of racial segregation, and in the making of modern American capitalism. And we will explore how legal challenges and political mobilizations against racial exclusion and economic exploitation in housing markets came to shape the modern black freedom movement as a whole. As we do, we will acquire a deeper knowledge and understanding of how real estate shapes our lives and lies at the heart of many of the most vexing problems and pressing challenges facing America today.
Explores the history of the Middle East and North Africa from late antiquity to the rise to superpower status of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Topics include the formation of Islam and the first Arab-Islamic conquests; the fragmentation of the empire of the caliphate; the historical development of Islamic social, legal, and political institutions; science and philosophy; and the impact of invaders (Turks, Crusaders, and Mongols).
This course examines the development of scientific thought and institutions in Western Europe during the critical period from 1450 to 1700 known as the Scientific Revolution. Because those engaged in scientific pursuits during this period were very consciously reacting to the thought of their predecessors, the course opens with a survey of developments in science—known as natural philosophy—from classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages. With the reintroduction throughout the early modern period of ancient Greek and Roman texts, natural philosophers both adapted and rejected classical thought in formulating their own interpretations of the phenomena observable in the natural world around them. As a result of their efforts, “new” versions of “old” approaches emerged, and areas such as astronomy and astrology, chemistry and alchemy, physics and natural magic, coexisted within the accepted body of knowledge of the natural world. Open to all undergraduates, this course—primarily in the history of ideas—requires no prior training in the sciences or in European history.
Classes will be conducted in a lecture/discussion style. Students will write one short (5-7-page) paper, a (3-5-page) research prospectus with annotated bibliography, and a (12-15-page) research paper, in addition to taking an in-class midterm and a final examination. (This course satisfies the Second Writing Requirement.)
Readings will average 100 pages each week and will be drawn from a photocopied packet containing excerpts from the works of such writers as Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Galen, Paracelsus, Bacon, Kepler, Harvey, Galileo, and Newton, as well as from the following required texts:
Dear, Revolutionizing the Sciences
Debus, Man and Nature in the Renaissance
Descartes, Discourse on Method
Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science
Galileo, Sidereus Nuncius
This course explores the multi-faceted history of modern Germany from the founding of the Empire in 1871 to the present. Among the themes that we will study are the repeated radical transformation of Germany’s political structures in the 20th century, the place of war and genocide in German history and memory, as well as the country’s shifting position within Europe and the world. We will also examine some of the major debates in German historiography, such as the idea that the Nazi Third Reich resulted from a flawed pattern of modernization that disconnected economic liberalism from political democracy. Throughout this course, we will pay particular attention to the ruptures and continuities in modern German history, and to the meanings of a traumatic past for the construction of national identity. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, two essays, as well as a midterm and final examination.
History of Indigenous Rights in the Americas
Tuesdays and Thursdays (9:30-10:45)
. This is a lecture course designed to introduce students to the study of indigenous history and Latin America since independence. Where did the vibrant indigenous rights movements that are changing the face of Latin America come from? In this course we will trace the long history of indigenous communities demanding rights from the state and from international organizations over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. We will focus on the cases of Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile using primary and secondary sources in English. Students will be expected to attend lecture, complete weekly reading assignments, and participate in short discussions with the class. Written assignments for this class will include two short midterms (essay and key word identification) and a final exam. Weekly readings may include selections from the following books:
Yashar, Deborah J. Contesting Citizenship in Latin America: The Rise of Indigenous Movements and the Postliberal Challenge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Hylton, Forrest, and Sinclair Thomson. Revolutionary Horizons: Past and Present in Bolivian Politics. London: Verso, 2007.
Mallon, Florencia E. Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Community of Nicolás Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906–2001. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
Postero, Nancy. The Indigenous State. University of California Press, 2017. http://www.luminosoa.org/site/books/10.1525/luminos.31/.
J. E. Lendon; email@example.com.
Not for CR/NC.
History of Ancient Greece from the Homeric period to the death of Alexander the Great. Development of the city-state, Athenian democracy, and the nature of Greek politics; the conflict between Greece and Persia, and between Sparta and the Athenian naval empire; consequences of the latter conflict--the Peloponnesian War--for subsequent Greek history; finally, the Macedonian conquest of Greece and Persia.
Lecture and weekly discussions; midterm, final, seven-page paper, and occasional quizzes in section. Readings will average between 100 and 125 pages a week, to be taken from the following (students are not responsible--for exam purposes--for the entirety of any of these, although they will have to read all of either Herodotus or Thucydides for the paper):
The Landmark Herodotus (R. Strassler, ed.; Free Press)
The Landmark Thucydides (R. Strassler, ed.; Free Press)
Plutarch, Greek Lives (Oxford)
Plato, The Apology of Socrates (Hackett)
J. M. Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (California)
S. Pomeroy et al., Ancient Greece (textbook: edition to be determined)
a xerox packet (available at NK Print and Design on Elliewood Avenue)
This course examines the work of four thinkers who have been massively important in modern thought: Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Martin Heidegger. The span is from Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) to Heidegger’s philosophically path-breaking Being and Time (1927), but issues of contemporary relevance will be kept firmly in mind, and these thinkers will all be connected to the wider intellectual and cultural contexts that they reflected and in part also created.
There is heavy emphasis in the course on students’ own reading of the material. After students attempt to grasp the reading (which is sometimes difficult), the instructor explicates it in class. By the end of the semester, students will have a good idea of what the central views articulated by Darwin et al. actually were. They will also be more skilled at reading complex texts.
Goals (in brief): (i) to model skill at reading theoretical texts and at thinking conceptually; (ii) to impart knowledge of some theories, and the assumptions underlying them, advanced by Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger; these theories are of continuing relevance and, in some cases, use to our lives now as educated human beings; and (iii) to impart knowledge of the place of these theories, concepts, and assumptions in modern and contemporary thought.
Requirements (in brief): The crucial requirement is to do the reading alertly and on time. More specifically, students will (i) answer ca. 8-10 short “think questions,” on time; (ii) take a 50-minute midterm; (iii) write a term paper of six single-spaced pages, based on assigned class reading (not additional outside reading); (iv) write the final exam (2½ hrs.); and (v) complete online evaluations of the class and sections. Items (iii) and (iv) count highest in the grade: they each generate close to half the final grade. The other exercises can move the grade slightly up or down. In short, the term paper and the final exam are very important.
BOOK LIST: We read crucial parts, and sometimes all, of the following: Darwin, The Origin of Species; Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, Genealogy of Morality, Portable Nietzsche; Freud, Interpretation of Dreams and Civilization and Its Discontents; and Heidegger, Being and Time. A secondary reading is Allan Megill, Prophets of Extremity: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida. There is also a course packet, from N. K. Print and Design (7 Elliewood Ave.), which costs around $12.
By early April, I shall update this document on my academia.edu site, providing information about book editions and prices, midterm date, term paper deadline, and final exam date. See https://virginia.academia.edu/AllanMegill/Teaching-Documents
This class covers the period from the third to the thirteenth centuries, moving from a Mediterranean world dominated by the Roman empire to one characterized by complex interactions (military, economic, cultural, scientific) between multiple kingdoms, communities, faiths and systems of belief. Political, social and institutional developments will be addressed; literature, art, philosophy, and religion will also receive attention.
We begin with the terminal phases of the ancient world. We end at a time when many of the formative elements of the world we live in today have come into existence. How can we understand the historical processes that led from one to the other? How did life, thought and belief change in these centuries? ‘The Birth of Europe’ is not simply a chance to study the foundational phase of European history it also affords students the opportunity to investigate a crucial phase of world history, the legacies of which continue to shape the world today.
Intended as an introduction to the medieval period, no prior knowledge is expected.
Work undertaken in HIEU 2061: Students will write two 1600-1800 word essays over the course of the semester, take a mid-term and a final exam, attend lecture and participate actively in section discussion. All students receive a letter grade; C/NC is not an option.
In Fall 2018 subjects discussed will include:
• The ‘Fall of Rome’ and its causes.
• The ‘barbarian’ peoples who would reshape the Roman West and, in turn, be reshaped by it.
• The earliest post-Roman kingdoms and the creation of new forms of political life.
• The development of late antique forms of Christianity, its growth as a sanctioned religion from the fourth century on and the varieties of medieval Christianity, orthodox and otherwise.
• The rise of Islam, the end of the Persian empire and the seventh- and eighth-century reconfiguration of the Mediterranean world.
• The formation and fragmentation of the Carolingian empire.
• The Vikings and their impact.
• The Byzantine empire and the Transformation of the Eastern Mediterranean.
This three-credit course looks at Virginia's social, political, and economic history from early colonization until the end of the Gilded Age. The class will consider the following broad questions: (1) Why was the rise of an ideology of liberty and equality in Virginia accompanied by the rise of slavery? (2) How did wealthy planters and "common" people alike develop the radical political ideas that led them to revolution? (3) What roles did government play in the state economy? (4) What efforts did Virginians make to rid their state of slavery, and make the electorate as well as legislative representation more democratic, prior to the Civil War? (5) How did Virginians let themselves get drawn into the Civil War? (6) How did some Virginians work toward emancipation of enslaved African-Americans and liberal political reconstruction of the state in the 19th century while others tried to thwart such efforts? The course will devote the first three weeks of the class to the colonial period, and the balance of the semester to a deep-dive into the statehood period 1776-1900.
Readings will average fewer than 125 pages per week. The principal readings will include: excerpts from Ronald L. Heinemann, et al., Old Dominion/New Commonwealth: A History of Virginia, 1607-2007; portions of Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery/American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia; Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832; William A. Link, Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia; and Elizabeth R. Varon, Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War. (A final syllabus will be available by August 1, 2018.)
There will be a short-answer mid-term exam and a single-essay final exam. There will be a short (2-3 page) writing exercise early in the semester to acclimate students to writing history based upon primary archival sources, such as those housed in the Special Collections Library. A major portion of each student's final grade will be based a 10-12 page term paper based on original research in primary source documents on a topic of the student's choice. Students will submit multiple drafts of the term paper during the final four weeks of the semester to obtain advice and guidance from the instructor.
The class will meet twice each week. At each meeting, about an hour will be devoted to lecture and 15 minutes will be devoted to guided class discussions of the readings and other material.
In this course we study the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe’s Jews between 1933 and 1945. This encounter resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million Jews. The course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust—in Hebrew, Shoah. We also explore survivors’ memories after the Holocaust, postwar Holocaust-related trials, and the universal implications of the Holocaust.
This course is intended to acquaint students with the historical study of the Holocaust and assumes no prior training in the subject. We will read studies by important historians, including Saul Friedländer, Christopher Browning, and Peter Hayes, contemporary documents, and memoirs. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements include three written assignments and conscientious participation in class discussion.