Introduces the study of history intended for first- or second-year students. Seminars involve reading, discussing, and writing about different historical topics and periods, and emphasize the enhancement of critical and communication skills. Several seminars are offered each term. Not more than two Introductory Seminars may be counted toward the major in history.
This course explores the history of soccer to understand how and why it has become the most popular sport in the world. We will examine the development of the game, the institutions that have grown up around it (FIFA), and the economic and political impact of the sport from roughly the late 19th century to present. We will also use football as a lens to study the politics of race, gender, migration, globalization, and corruption. This course coincides with renowned soccer historian Laurent Dubois being in residence at the IHGC and with a workshop entitled "Global South Soccer Politics" that will take place in the fall. Students will be expected to participated in the workshop, where they will get a chance to present their work to experts in the field.
"This course examines the history of slavery and its legacy at UVA and in the central Virginia region. It aims to recover the experiences of enslaved individuals and their roles in building and maintaining the university, and to contextualize those experiences within Southern history. The course is thus an exploration of slave and free black communities, culture and resistance, and an examination of the development of the University of Virginia.
The course is interdisciplinary in nature, as we will draw on a wide range of fields, such as art history, architecture, and archaeology. A major focus will be on how we know what we know: on what archives and other repositories of historical sources hold; on how they were constructed; on what they leave out or obscure; and how scholars overcome the gaps, distortions and silences in the historical record.
The last weeks of the course will focus on 20th century UVA and Charlottesville, and on the issues of segregation and integration, reconciliation and repair; we will connect current initiatives at UVA to represent the history of slavery with initiatives at other universities.”
Religion and politics have been closely entwined in South Asian history and politics. Beginning with debates on Hindu-Muslim coexistence since the 13th century and continuing to present-day debates on secularism and communalism in crafting South Asia's democratic constitutions, this course will cover a huge swath of exciting material. Students may write their 20-page research papers on any related topic.
There will be no textbooks for the course. About 200 pages of reading will be posted on collab every week. Course requirements include attendance and active participation in discussions (20%); weekly one-page position papers (20%); a short essay of 10 pages (20%) and a final essay of 20 pages (40%). This course fulfills the second writing requirement.
This seminar is designed to introduce students to the literature of African-American History, from the colonial era to the end of Reconstruction. Major themes and debates will be highlighted, including the political, economic, social, and cultural experiences of African-Americans. The course will help students define specific interests within the field and aid in preparation for examinations. Students will read a book a week and spend the semester writing a 20-25 page historiographical essay.
As practiced in the United States, philanthropy is a critical means for enlarging democracy and for engaging a very broad portion of the citizenry in important ideas and big decisions. American philanthropy—whether originating in established foundations or grassroots organizations, large fortunes or modest gifts—shapes the ways we become active citizens, acquire knowledge, solve problems, govern our country, and project our image abroad. For these reasons, philanthropic and nonprofit institutions in the United States have been highly visible actors in education, science, social services, the environment, the arts, and public policy. In this course, students will study a part of American history rarely discussed in history books or classes and yet highly present in their daily lives.
“A History of Canada” with a special emphasis on Canadian-American relations, 1763 to the present. This course will examine the emergence of Canada as a distinct country with two founding languages and cultures – French and English. Stretched along the northern border of the United States, Canadians have had to define and defend themselves against – and trade and ally with – their more powerful and populous neighbors. Examining Canada’s different political and cultural perspective on the United States can help Americans see their own nation in a revealing, new light.
The reading will be a mix of histories and historical documents, as well as contemporary press coverage of Canada. The reading will total about 120-140 pages per week. Each student will develop a paper linking a contemporary Canadian issue or controversy with historical evidence for its development. The final paper will be approximately 12-15 pages, carefully edited. Each student will also make an oral presentation, explaining that project (with appropriate powerpoint images), to the class. There will be no mid-term or final exam.
The course meets in seminar form. After common discussion of seven major themes in the war, each student will research and write an original essay of ca. 25 pages on some aspect of the war. Students will have the broadest possible choice of topics geographically and thematically. This course fulfills the second writing requirement.
Who was Adolf Hitler and how did he become the genocidal "leader" of a nation that was not unfamiliar with democracy. Was his rise to power an aberrant historical accident or a logical outcome of German history? What was more decisive in shaping the catastrophic course of events under Hitler’s regime: his personality or deep structural historical factors? Would history have turned out better (or worse) if Hitler had been accepted into art school or died in infancy? Do melodramatic depictions of his last days normalize or even trivialize the Holocaust? Is it acceptable to laugh about or even empathize with Hitler today?
This course investigates Hitler’s life and afterlife on the basis of a broad variety of sources. Course materials range from scholarly articles to Nazi propaganda, films, novels, counterfactual histories and Hitler representations on the internet. Throughout this course, we will combine an interest in the personal dimensions of Hitler’s rule with the study of power structures, social interests, aesthetic forms, generational shifts, and national frames. We will pay particular attention to the affective logics and representational regimes that shape our understanding of the past. Requirements include regular attendance, active participation, one oral presentation, and short written assignments. There will be no midterm or final examinations.
In 1966, Mao Zedong launched his last great mass campaign by calling upon the youth of China to “practice revolution” and rebel against established authority. The tumultuous response to Mao’s summons opened a ten year period in which political and social order were nearly destroyed, over a million people were persecuted, and countless lives were ruined. With the death of Mao in 1976, a movement that had begun as an effort to keep China firmly on the path to socialism thus ended amid fear, apathy and doubt as to the legitimacy of the Communist Party and the revolution which it had led. Today, fifty years after it began, the Cultural Revolution remains one of the most traumatic yet least understood periods of Modern Chinese History.
This seminar attempts to get at the meaning and significance of the Cultural Revolution by examining it as a multi-faceted period that cannot be adequately understood through any single analytic framework. Through the reading and discussion of secondary literature and translated primary sources, we will consider a number of issues: the movement’s political and ideological roots, the role and culpability of Mao, the significance of the Cultural Revolution as a youth movement, the causes of social violence, the impact of the movement on rural areas, and the influence that this “decade of violence” has had on Chinese government, society, and culture since the death of Mao.
For the first ten weeks, seminar participants will read and discuss an average of between 200 to 250 pages of primary and secondary material. The remainder of the semester will be devoted to the completion of a substantial research paper of 20-25 pages. Evaluation will be based on the quality of both the seminar paper (50%) and attendance/participation in weekly discussions (50%). Although there are no prerequisites for this seminar, all students who have not taken a course on Modern China are expected to have read Mao’s China and After, by Maurice Meisner prior to the beginning of the course. This course satisfies the Second Writing Requirement and may be used as a capstone course for East Asian Studies majors.