Lecture

Jewish History I: The Ancient and Medieval Experience

HIEU
2101
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

Jewish civilization is one of the oldest and most influential components of world religion and history. Yet unlike other world civilizations, the Jewish people never possessed a large empire or even a large population. On the contrary, Jews always and everywhere constituted a tiny minority, even in ancient times. In this course, we will seek explanations for this unique history through surveying the narrative of Jewish civilization from biblical antiquity through the ancient and medieval worlds to the edge of the modern period (ca. 1550).

Through lectures, readings, discussion sections, and writing assignments, we will examine the political and religious dimensions of pre-modern Jewish civilization. In the process, we will also explore questions about world history, religion and empire in the medieval Mediterranean and beyond, and the very idea of Western civilization. Special topics will include Israelite origins in the Ancient Near East, Jewish life under Greek and Roman imperial rule, the collapse of the independent Jewish state after 70CE, the growth of the global Jewish Diaspora, the emergence of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity, Jewish minority life under medieval Islam and Christianity, medieval Jewish philosophy and mysticism, and anti-Jewish violence in the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.

This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism or Jewish history. We will read and critically analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, including religious and legal writings, archeological and artistic images, and modern scholarly interpretations. Our goal is to introduce you not only to the study of Jewish history, but the related academic fields of Jewish Studies, European history, and world history. Evaluation will be based on short papers, exams, and discussion section participation.

For history majors, HIEU 2101 satisfies the pre-1700 Europe (HIEU) requirement. The course also feels a core requirement for Jewish Studies majors.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
60
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
3

History of Southern Africa

HIAF
3021
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

HIAF 3021 is a lecture course on the history of southern Africa, with an emphasis on South Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  we'll begin with a look at the precolonial African societies of the region and then move on to an examination of colonial conquest, life under colonialism, and the rise and fall of apartheid (South Africa's infamous system of racial oppression).  The course ends with the birth of democracy in South Africa that was marked by the election of Nelson Mandela as president.

 

By the end of the nineteenth century, all of the African peoples of southern Africa had been conquered by European powers and incorporated into Dutch, British, Portuguese, and German colonial empires.  Conquest had not come easily.  Every society in the region resisted European domination, sometimes for many decades before being finally defeated.  Colonialism and, just as importantly, African responses to it dramatically reshaped societies in southern African, transforming political and economic systems, gender and class relations, religion, and even music and sports.

 

Throughout southern Africa, resistance to colonialism and white supremacy assumed new forms in the twentieth century, as Africans began to bridge ethnic divisions to create multi-ethnic trade unions, churches, political parties, and liberation movements.  Particularly in South Africa, African nationalism was influenced by nonracialism, uniting blacks and progressive whites in the ultimately successful struggle against apartheid.

 

Course materials include primary sources, such as autobiographies, magazine accounts and photography from the 19th and 20th centuries, and even CIA reports.  We will also read some of the best historical writing about the region.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
40
Course Type: 

History of American Labor

HIUS
3471
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

This course examines the economic, cultural, and political lives of the US working class from the end of the Civil War to the present. Over the course of the semester, students will analyze how laboring women and men both shaped and were shaped by the rise of big business during the Gilded Age, the social upheavals of the World War I era, the economic hardships brought about by the Great Depression, the social policies of the New Deal, the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, and continuing debates over the meanings of work, citizenship, and democracy. Significant attention will be given to the organizations workers created to advance their economic interests.

 

The course will explore the success and failures of the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the Communist Party, the SEIU, and various Living Wage Coalitions, among other groups. A major issue to be explored in our discussions of working-class movements will be the ways in which laboring people have been divided along racial, gender, ethnic, and regional lines.  Since working-class history is about more than the struggle of laboring people to improve their material condition, this course will also focus topics such as workers’ leisure activities, customs and thoughts, and religious beliefs. 

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
60
Course Type: 

History of Modern India

HISA
2003
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

A survey course, major topics include conflict and accommodation in the Indo-Islamic world; change and continuity under colonial rule; competing ideas on the shape and substance of a new India; and the Partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

 

The following textbooks will be available in the bookstore: Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy and Joseph Lelyveld, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India.

 

Other required readings consisting of primary and secondary sources will be placed on collab. Films will also be used.

Course requirements include attendance and active participation in class (15%); a book review (20%); a midterm exam (25%); and a final exam (40%).

Maximum Enrollment: 
60
Course Type: 

European History: Industrial Revolution to the Welfare State 1848-1963

HIEU
3442
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

Surveys the Continent's troubled history from the Victorian Age to the welfare state. After examining the demographic, agricultural, industrial and "industrious" revolutions and other features of nineteenth-century modernization, the course addresses the growth of liberalism and nationalism, various forms of imperialism, the, causes and consequences of both world wars, Communist and Fascist challenges, Weimar and Nazi Germany, the Great Depression and the accompanying crisis of capitalism, the Holocaust and the decline of old Europe, and Social Democratic transformation.  Requires one extended book review-essay and a final.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
30
Course Type: 

Afro-American History to 1865

HIUS
3651
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

In this course, we will interrogate the history of people of African descent in the United States, from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the Civil War.  We will discuss major events in early African-American history to consider how the twin engines of slavery and the quest for freedom shaped the lives of millions of African and African-American people in the United States.  Students will consider how social, economic, political, and legal frameworks established in the period between the colonial era and the Civil War influenced the lived experiences of African Americans, enslaved and free.  Topics will include: pre-colonial West and Central Africa, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the development of North American slavery, resistance and revolution in Atlantic slave communities, gradual emancipation laws, economics of slavery, the gendered experience in slavery and freedom, and black people’s participation in anti-slavery politics.  Students will learn about the multifaceted experiences of African Americans by analyzing primary and secondary sources, films, and historical fiction.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
40
Course Type: 

The Emergence of Modern America, 1870-1930

HIUS
3131
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

The United States changed drastically from a society attached to local forms of life to a society dominated by national institutions, big business, and big government in the period covered in this course.  Throughout the course, we will investigate the ways in which Americans have attempted to keep their modern mass society democratic while negotiating the conflicts of region, faith, class, race and gender.  Among the topics studied in some detail are the rise of corporate America, the simultaneous creation of the regulatory state, the organization of modern knowledge, the creation of the first military-industrial complex of World War I, and the requirements of a consumer culture.  We will focus also on the landscape of large urban and industrial hinterlands in the making of modern America.  

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
30
Course Type: 

American History to 1865

HIUS
2001
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

This course will explore the early history of the United States including its colonial origins.  We will examine the American Revolution, the creation of republican governments and the union of the states, and the strains on that union which led to the Civil War of the 1860s.  In addition to politics, we will consider the economy, culture, and society of early America, with an emphasis on the role of common people, the enslaved, and Native Americans – as well as the national leaders.

 

The reading will be a mix of histories and historical documents, with a weekly commitment of approximately 80 pages.  The course will include 2 lectures and 1 discussion section per week.  The discussion sections will focus on interpreting historical documents and preparing for exams and papers.  The course emphasizes improving your skills at analytical and persuasive writing based on historical evidence. 

 

There will be a mid-term exam, a final exam, a core paper developed through 3 installments, and a couple of quizzes.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
120
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
6

Modern German History

HIEU
3352
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

This course explores the 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, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, the place of dictatorship, 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 German national identity. Course requirements include regular attendance, active participation, two essays, and an in-class final examination.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
60
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
3

American Economic History

HIUS
2061
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

This course concentrates on critical aspects of the history of American economic development.  The issues covered include the nature and consequences of the colonial relationship to Great Britain, the political economy of the Constitution, the economics of slavery, the rise of the modern bureaucratic corporation, causes of the Great Depression, and the political economy of contemporary America.  In addressing these issues, the course considers more general questions of what forces‑‑cultural, economic, legal, etc.--shape the pace and pattern of economic development in any society.

The required text for this course is:

     Gary Walton and Hugh Rockoff, Economic History of the United States.

This will be supplemented by a course packet of readings.  Readings will average c. 100 pages a week.

There will be two one-hour exams and a final.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
120
Course Type: 

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Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

  

Contact:
(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
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