A biblical injunction, first articulated in Leviticus and then elaborated in the Christian teachings, stipulates that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself. This course explores the friend/enemy nexus in German history, literature and culture. Of particular interest is the figure of the neighbor as both an imagined extension of the self, and as an object of fear or even hatred. We will examine the vulnerability and anxiety generated by Germany’s unstable and shifting territorial borders, as well as the role that fantasies of foreign infiltration played in defining German national identity. We will also investigate the racial and sexual politics manifested in Germany’s real or imagined encounters with various foreign “others.” Most importantly, this course will study the tensions in German history and culture between a chauvinist belief in German racial or cultural superiority and moments of genuine openness to strangers. In the concluding part of this course, we will consider the changing meanings of friendship and hospitality in a globalizing world. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, one in-class presentation, and three short essays (5 pages each). There will be no mid-term or final examinations. This course fulfills the second writing requirement; no prerequisites.
This course examines the historical origins, political structures, cultural dynamics, and everyday practices of the Nazi Third Reich. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, two five-page essays, mid-term and final examinations. All readings and discussions are in English. No prerequisites.
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, 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.
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.
This class introduces Chinese history from the beginning 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 culture and society came to exist. Political, social, cultural, and intellectual history will all be treated, 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, a term paper, class participation, and a take-home final. No prior knowledge of Chinese history is required. This course fulfills the College’s non-Western and historical perspective requirements.
This course will examine the formation of modern Europe from the French Revolution to the First World War. We will discuss political, social, and economic developments of the period with an emphasis on reading seminal and primary source material. Some pivotal events to be discussed include the French Revolution and Wars of Napoleon, the Industrial Revolution, European Imperialism, social developments, and the First World War experience broadly defined.
Readings will be centered on a base textbook along with primary sources and other selections. Planned course readings may be found below. Assignments will include quizzes, exams, and short essays on assigned readings. The class will be a hybrid of discussion and interactive lectures.
Assigned Texts will include:
Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe, 2010. ISBN 978-0393934335
Bishop, Alan et al., ed. Letters from a Lost Generation, ISBN 978-1844085705
Gasper, Phil. The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History's Most
Important Political Document, 2005. 978-1931859257
This course examines the social, political, and cultural interactions between the Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine, from the arrival of the first Zionist settlers until the 1948 war, which resulted in the founding of the State of Israel and the flight and expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs. The goal for the course is for students to become familiar with competing historiographical interpretations of the period in question. Assigned readings will include studies by Anita Shapira; Benny Morris; Rashid Khalidi; and Nur Masalha, and the memoirs of Edward Said and Amoz Oz. Evaluations will be based on responses to discussion questions on the collab website; two take-home exams; and two 8-10 page papers. This class fulfills the non-western history requirement for history majors.
The course explores the relationship between China and the United State since the late 18th century. Starting as an encounter between a young trading state and an ageless empire on the two side of the Pacific Ocean, the Chinese-American relationship has gone through stages characterized by the two countries’ changing identities, such as civilizational, national, ideological, strategic, or global. By using both recent scholarly works and written records from the past, the course considers the historical contacts between China and the United States broadly and seeks to understand this intricate and profoundly important relationship by learning from insights at individual, communal, societal, state, and international levels.
The course consists of lectures, occasional in-class discussions, and documentary films. The student’s grade is based on participation, two in-class exams (midterm and final), a brief research-paper proposal, and a 12- to 15-page (double spaced) research paper.
This course will explore the history of the American South from the colonial period to 1900. The central theme is the changing nature and meaning of “southern distinctiveness.” We will focus on the origins of slavery and the plantation system; the shifting race, gender and class relations among Southerners; sectionalism and the causes of the Civil War; the rise and demise of the Confederacy; Reconstruction and the “New South”; and on social and ideological divisions within the region. We will read a wide range of primary sources including political speeches, slave narratives, newspapers, diaries, letters and memoirs.
This class investigates the connection between wars and the societies that fight them. The 20th Century has been marred by almost uninterrupted warfare, and we will examine how these wars impacted society across a wide range of human experience. We’ll explore such questions as: Why and how have certain societies waged war? What ideas have motivated and sustained people as they fight? What social, political and cultural consequences has war had in these societies? What means do societies use to justify, legitimate, and canonize war? What ethical problems have these wars raised? And how do we write about war? A major goal of the course is to develop critical perspectives on the ways that a “war culture” is constructed.
A survey of the political, social, and institutional growth of the Roman Republic, with close attention given to its downfall and replacement by an imperial form of government; and the subsequent history of that imperial form of government, and of social and economic life in the Roman Empire, up to its own decline and fall. Readings of ca. 120 pages per week; midterm, final, and one seven-page paper.
Readings will be drawn from the following:
Sinnegan and Boak, A History of Rome (text)
Livy, The Early History of Rome
Plutarch, Makers of Rome
Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
Tacitus, Annals of Imperial Rome
Apuleius, The Golden Ass
R. MacMullen, Roman Social Relations
and a course packet