Lecture

History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1914

HIUS
3456
Undergraduate
Spring
2018

This course will examine the role of the United States in the international arena from World War I to the present.  In my lectures, I will examine the motivations, objectives, strategies, and tactics of U.S. policymakers.  The course will focus on America's embroilment in two world wars; its Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union; its responses to revolutionary movements abroad; its intervention in Vietnam; its role as hegemon in the international economic system; and its struggle against terrorism and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.  It will conclude with an effort to put Donald Trump's "America First" foreign policy in historical perspective. 

There will be two or three take-home writing assignments of 4-6 pages, plus a final take-home assignment of two questions asking students to write two essays of 4-5 pages each.  I may ask for weekly reflections on the readings or give occasional quizzes.

Readings will average about 150-225 pages a week.  There will be a textbook, a book of primary source documents, some additional weekly primary documents on UVA collab, and four or five short monographs (dealing with Woodrow Wilson and World War I, FDR and the coming of World War II, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and contemporary challenges in Iraq and/or Syria).

This will not fulfill the second writing requirement.

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

American Business

HIUS
3411
Undergraduate
Spring
2018

This course examines the history of the American business enterprise from the workshop to the multinational corporation.  We will explore the economic, legal and political factors that have helped to shape the business organization.  Specific topics to be addressed include:  relations between government and business; law and the rise of Big Business; the changing role of the entrepreneur; the developments of 'scientific management'; the reputation of businessmen as corporations expanded; the factors behind the rise of the multinational corporation; the importance of the individual(e.g Whitney, Ford, Sloan, Rockefeller, Carnegie, DuPont, etc) in developing business practices.

Students may find it to their advantage to have some background in American economic history (HIUS 2006) or economics; there are however, no prerequisites.  

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
120
Course Type: 

China to the Tenth Century

HIEA
3111
Undergraduate
Spring
2018

This class introduces Chinese history from its origins through the end of the 10th century. Its goal is to explore what makes Chinese civilization specifically Chinese and how the set of values, practices, and institutions we associate with Chinese society came to exist. Political, social, cultural, and intellectual history will all be covered, though not equally for all periods. Major themes of the course include intellectual developments, empire-building efforts, religious and popular beliefs, and Chinese interaction with other cultures and peoples. Required reading includes a variety of primary sources, book chapters, and articles. Final grades will be based on four quizzes, two short papers, and class participation. This course fulfills the College’s non-Western and historical perspective requirements. No previous knowledge of Chinese history is required.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
40
Course Type: 

New Course in Latin American History

Enviro Hist of Latin America
HILA
2559
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

What are the causes of social, economic, and political inequality in Latin America? How can environmental history help us understand these inequalities? In this lecture course, we will explore the ways that land, resources, and politics have driven and limited revolutionary movements in Latin America since independence. This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Latin America.

Taught by Elena McGrath

Course Type: 

History of the Middle East and North Africa, ca. 500-ca.1500

HIME
2001
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

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).

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

History of the Russian Empire 1700-1917

HIEU
2152
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

            Are you curious about the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine? . . . or why Vladimir Putin meddled in last year's U.S. presidential election?  Many explanations of contemporary events lie in Russia's imperial past, when it ruled over not only Ukraine but also Poland, Finland, Georgia, Armenia, and Central Asia (a sixth of the earth's land area, all told), yet still harbored an enormous inferiority complex vis-à-vis the countries of Western Europe. 

            We will begin with the reign of Peter the Great, and cover two centuries in which the Romanov dynasty struggled to bring Russia into the ranks of European and world powers by pursuing its economic, social, and cultural transformation, and by conquering ever more territories and populations.  At the same time the tsars insisted on preserving many of Russia's traditional and distinctive features, including autocratic rule itself.  This precarious situation ultimately led to social and political revolution, but almost as soon as tsarist rule ended in 1917, Russia and much of the empire were taken over by a new dictatorship, that of the Bolsheviks (Communists) under Vladimir I. Lenin.  (This year of course marks the centennial of Russia's 1917 revolutions.)

            About half the course is devoted to the last sixty years of the imperial (tsarist) period, from defeat in the Crimean War and implementation of the so-called Great Reforms (beginning with the abolition of serfdom), concluding with close analysis of the revolutions of 1905, February 1917, and October 1917.  Special attention will be paid to the tsarist social hierarchy and the governance of diverse ethno-national populations.

You will be expected to read between 100 and 200 pages per week.  The overview text is A History of Russia (vol. 1: to 1917) by Walter MossBeing at the introductory level, the course is intended to teach you to think as historians do, and to consider the various types of sources that can be brought to bear on historical analysis.  We'll be doing our own interpretation of a wide range of textual primary sources on tsarist Russia:  literary classics such as the theatrical farce The Government Inspector (Nikolai Gogol), the novels Fathers and Children (Ivan Turgenev) and Hadji Murad (Leo Tolstoy), as well as shorter selections such as government documents and memoir excerpts by revolutionary activists, factory workers, and peasants.  Graded work will include a map quiz, two take-home midterms, one 5-6 pp. paper, and a comprehensive final exam.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
40
Course Type: 

China and the Cold War

HIEA
3321
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

The class examines China’s entanglement with the Cold War from 1945 to the early 1990s. The course raises China-centered questions because it is curious in retrospect that China, a quintessential Eastern state, became so deeply involved in the Cold War, a confrontation rooted in Western history.  In exploring such questions, this course does not treat China as part of the Cold War but the Cold War as a period of Chinese history. Evaluation of the student's performance in the class is based on a midterm and a final test, and a brief paper.  

 

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
35
Course Type: 

Palestine 1948

HIME
21012
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

This course explores the war of 1948 in Palestine from the UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947 to the cease-fire agreements in early 1949. It has two narratives. The first thread of the course focuses on the voices of Jewish, Palestinians, and British contemporaries taken from diaries and letters from the period. We seek to capture the human element in this event, marked by such different outcomes as redemption and catastrophe, while telling a story of commingled Jewish and Palestinian histories. The second narrative places 1948 in Palestine in global perspective of decolonization, partitions, and forced migrations in the post-1945 world, as well as in an international history of self-determination, minority rights, and the emerging post-1945 world order. We combine then the local and the global.

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

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: 

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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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