Seminar

Seminar in Latin American History

Latin American and the US
HILA
4501
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

This research seminar examines the history of Latin America-U.S. relations.  The first half of the semester we will read a number of historical works.  The assigned texts are designed both to provide a broad overview of the history of Latin America-U.S. relations and introduce students to a variety of approaches to writing the history of what is often referred to as United States imperialism. The class will focus on a series of United States interventions in Latin America over the last two centuries, from the Mexican-American War, also known as the War of the U.S. Invasion in Mexico, to the occupation of Cuba, the CIA role in the overthrow of democratic governments in Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973), and the US- sponsored counter-insurgencies in Central America during the 1980s.

 

            During the the second half of the semester, students will work on a twenty-page research paper based on research in original primary sources on a theme related to the course, developed in consultation with the professor.

The final grade will be composed of a grade for reading and participation in class discussions (50%) and a grade for the final paper (50%).

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
12
Course Type: 

Introductory Seminar in South Asia

AFPAK: Civl Soc & Insurgency
HISA
1501
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

Subject and focus:  Two modern nation-states under enormous stress.  Assessing society and politics in Afghanistan and Pakistan will sharpen our historical awareness, help us understand the world's most lasting, urgent, and frustrating confrontation, and polish our writing and debating skills.  No acquaintance with South Asia, or even with history, is assumed.  Readings must be completed before class (see dated headings, below) to maintain and intelligent, active level of discussion and participation.  

Texts:  The following are available at U.Va. Bookstore:

David Pinault, Notes from the Fortune-telling Parrot:  Islam and the Struggle for Religious Pluralism in Pakistan (London:  Equinox, 2008)

Thomas Barfield, Afghanistan:  A Cultural and Political History (Princeton University Press, 2010)

Ahmad Rashid, Pakistan on the Brink:  the Future of American, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (New York: Viking 2012)

Anatol Lieven, Pakistan, a Hard Country (New York:  Perseus, 2011)

Farrah Ahmedi, The other Side of the Sky (New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2005)

Ahmad Rishad, Taliban.  Buy this online for c. $2.00-copies are plentiful.

N.K. Print and Design (formerly Brillig Books), 7 Elliewood Ave., have photocopied articles, listed below as PHOCO.

Requirements:  No exams.  Evaluation will rest on class discussions (40%), plus three closely-edited and polished essays of two, three, and six typed pages, at intervals (60%).  No late or handwritten papers will be accepted without a truly superb excuse, such as a life-changing emergency.  I will edit and comment intensely, and you will resubmit revised versions of papers two and three.  Standard for all papers: one-inch margins, 12-pt. Geneva, Century Gothic (the most ink-stingy), or Times font, double-spaced, succinct title., pp. numbers (pages 2 and up) in upper-right corners.  AND proper footnotes!  History footnote style templates (not social science or MLA) will soon be handed out.  This course meets the second writing requirement

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Constitutional History I: American Revolution to 1896

HIUS
7652
Graduate
Spring
2017

Professor Joseph Hylton.

This course traces the history of American constitutional law development from the Articles of Confederation through the Civil War. Topics include the framing and ratification of the Constitution, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the landmark decisions of the Marshall Court, the constitutional ramifications of slavery, and various constitutional issues raised by the Civil War.

 

Exam Info:

Midterm Type (if any): None

Description: None

 

Final Type (if any): Flex

Description:

Flex exam at end of semester.

 

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: None

Mutually Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

Course Notes: 25 seats will initially be held for Law students taking the course under the LAW mnemonic, and the remainder of seats for students taking under the HIST mnemonic.

Maximum Enrollment: 
5
Course Type: 

Introductory Seminar in History

Liberalism: Theory and Practice
HIST
1501
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

 

Although most Americans think “liberalism” is an old-fashioned name for leftwing ideology, the rest of the world (and scholars) use the term in its classical meaning, as a set of ideas for organizing society and political life, oriented around ideals of liberty.  This set of ideas was a profound turning point in the development of the modern world in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  Mutations of liberalism, enemies of liberalism – these are the themes of political life recurring across the last two centuries of global history.

This is a course that follows liberalism, in theory and practice, over those last two centuries, in various parts of the world.  It is a story of rise, fall, renewal, and new challenges.  Now, in the early part of the 21st century, the future of ‘liberalism’ is the great political issue of this generation.

Students will be graded on class participation and on two papers (one due on March 14 and the other due on May 1).

Required readings

History is a subject mainly learned through lots of reading. And this course covers a lot of ground.

Edmund Fawcett, Liberalism: The Life of an Idea (Princeton: Princeton University Press,

2014) (paperback)

R.R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution: The Challenge (Princeton: Princeton

University Press, 1959)  Note that this volume, "The Challenge," is volume one of two.  (The second volume, "The Struggle," is not required.) Although published in paperback for decades, this book is expensive. Fortunately, you should be available to find less expensive used copies available, including through Amazon.

Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism, trans. Kathleen

Ross (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003)

Jan-Werner Müller, What Is Populism? (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,

2016)

 

 

 

 

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Major Seminar

Global Capitalism Since 1750
HIST
4501
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

This course explores the history of capitalism in a post-Industrial Revolution world, and is driven by two questions: how did we get from the textured political economy of the early eighteenth century to the disembodied market processes that we understand to be “the economy” today; and how does this changing body of economic thought reflect the dynamic world of industrial capitalism, empire, and global politics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? Through a historically-minded engagement different texts in economic thought, both Western and otherwise, we chart the emergence of a discipline of economics – one that distinguished itself from classical political economy in its methodologies and concerns, and that was deeply embedded in the changing commercial and industrial world into which it was born. In doing so, we create a more textured narrative of how we ended up with what we understand to be “the economy” – both as a theoretical concept and a lived reality.

At the same time, we map the circulation of these new ideas – of political economy, of “economics”, and of imagined alternatives – around the globe. We examine how these ideas were given articulation through 19th- and 20th-century global empires and the modern corporation, bridging South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America into a singular, unified image of a global economy (although for purposes of depth, we will primarily focus on India and Egypt). We also explore how scholars, teachers, and jurists developed their own visions of the marketplace that sometimes complemented and other times actively confronted the global economy. At its core, the course is an opportunity for students to acquaint themselves with the history of modern capitalism around the world while actively engaging with classic texts in the history of Western and non-Western economic thought.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
12
Course Type: 

Introductory Seminar in South Asia

Gandhi and India's Democracy
HISA
1501
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

In the period 1905-47, there emerged in British India a mass anti-imperialist movement that eventually won the country's independence and laid the foundations of independent India's democracy (as well as the political foundations of independent Pakistan). Though it was characterized by many competing, even opposed strands, the greatest leader of India's anti-imperialist movement is indisputably Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known to history as Mahatma Gandhi. This class will trace Gandhi's early political life in the British colony of South Africa as well as the prehistory of India's mass anti-imperialist movement before entering into a sustained treatment of that movement in the period 1918-1947.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
13
Course Type: 

Introductory Seminar in History

Seeing History: Online Photo Archives in the Age of Instagram
HIST
1501
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

Most people recognize that the internet, smart phones, and social media have changed the very nature of photography.  Photos are made, distributed, and seen in ways that were virtually unimaginable 10 or 15 years ago.  Photos about every conceivable topic, from science and politics to celebrities and kittens, are made and are almost instantly viewed by more people, in more places, than ever before.

 

Few people understand, however, that the internet, smart phones, and social media have also transformed how photographs -- even very old photographs -- are stored, retrieved, and analyzed.  These photographs open windows on the past.  They allow us to see history and to understand it in new and exciting ways.

 

Students in Seeing History will use online photo archives to explore topics in twentieth-century history.  Because the archives are both local and international, students will be able to use photography to research subjects almost anywhere, from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

In this course, we will look at photography from all over the world.  We will read about the history of photography and about how photography can be used to understand the past.  And with the guidance of the instructor, each student will carry out an original research project that will lead to a written essay and a web-based presentation.  (The web presentation may be public or private.)

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Introductory Seminar in Post-1700 European History

Russian History through Film
HIEU
1502
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

In this introductory seminar, students will become familiar with the major events and eras in the history of Russia and its empire through detailed analysis of some of the most important films produced in and about Russia in the past century.  Besides being an introduction to Russian history and culture, the seminar aims to get students thinking about the fundamental problems historians grapple with as they reconstruct and represent the past.  

 

We will be asking two kinds of questions about the interaction between history and film in Russia.  1) How have films acted as secondary historical sources, i.e. to portray historical reality and disseminate it to a broad public (not only within Russia but internationally)?  What are the principal challenges of making and interpreting films about past eras and major historical events?  Is there a discernible line between the educational and propagandistic uses of historical films?  2) Second, how can films (not only “historical” films but more broadly) be used as primary sources for understanding Russia’s 20th- and 21st-century history?  What exactly can they tell us about Russian/Soviet society that other sources cannot, or not as effectively? 

 

The class meets once per week for 2.5 hours.  Students will view films outside of class.  In some weeks the assignment will be two standard-length films; in others it will be one longer or multi-part film. 

 

The films we focus most closely on will include several of the following, many of which are considered masterpieces of world cinema:  Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovskii, 1966); Ivan the Terrible (Sergei Eisenstein, 1944-1945); War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1967); The Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925); Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass (Dziga Vertov, 1930); Chapaev (Vasiliev Bros., 1934); The Circus (Grigorii Aleksandrov, 1936); The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kolotozov, 1957); Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1994); Hipsters (Valerii Todorovskii, 2008); Siberiade (Andrei Konchalovskii, 1979); Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1979); Repentance (Tengiz Abuladze, 1987); Brother (Aleksei Balabanov, 1997); and Leviathan (Andrei Zviagintsev, 2014).  Alongside we will read other sources such as critics' reviews, directors' commentaries, and accounts of the film-making process.  For historical context, we will be using Gregory L. Freeze, ed., Russia: A History, and essays on specialized topics. 

 

Students will write graded essays both on assigned films and on films of their own choice, and will be expected to engage in seminar discussion and to submit blog posts each week.  No exams will be given.  No previous knowledge of Russian history, culture, or language is required. 

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Genocide

HIST
5621
Graduate
Spring
2017

One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations.  In this seminar, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the democides that have taken place under Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and more recent experiences of one-sided mass killing in Africa.  While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of the terrorizing/genocidal state, the response -- or lack of response -- by members of the international community, and the ethical dilemmas posed by one-sided mass violence.  Requirements include readings of 200 to 300 pages per week, active participation in class discussions, two five-page book reviews, and a fifteen-page historiographical essay.  This course meets the Second Writing Requirement.

 

Likely readings for the course include portions of the following books:  Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination; Eric Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation; Benjamin Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century; Christian Gerlach, Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century; Taner Akcam, The Young Turks Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire; Doris Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2nd ed.); Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; Norman Naimark, Stalin's Genocides; Frank Dikotter, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe; Alexander Hinton, Why Did They Kill?  Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide; Scott Straus, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda; James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (2nd ed.); Kristen Renwick Monroe, Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Seminar in Post-1700 European History

Cold War Europe: One Continent between Two Superpowers
HIEU
4502
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

In March 1946, Winston Churchill famously said that an “iron curtain” that had descended across Europe, separating “the Soviet sphere” from “the Western Democracies.” His words proved prophetic: over the next four decades, the European continent would remain divided between two camps, one allied with the US and the other with the USSR. Europe became a major battleground of the Cold War; European states were both arenas of superpower competition and agents in its eventual resolution. This course explores political, social, and cultural aspects of the Cold War in Europe, paying equal attention to states east and west of the Iron Curtain. What factors drove the division of Europe, and how was this division felt on the ground? How did the US and the USSR try to remake Europe in their image, and to what extent did they succeed? Which phenomena became touchstones of Cold War competition, and which transcended the Iron Curtain? Finally, why did the division of Europe end when it did? Are Cold War legacies still visible today, and how do they shape the prospects for European unity in the future? 

The goal of this course is to produce an original work of scholarship about some aspect of Cold War Europe. Your research paper is due at the end of the semester and should be 18-20 pages in length. All other assignments are designed to help you research and write this paper. They include in-class participation; a preliminary question; a research prospectus; and a paper draft. Be prepared to read roughly 150 pages each week, in addition to your own research. 

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
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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