Section 1, 8-9:15 TR, Professor R. Kennedy
"The Cold War" - This senior thesis seminar will focus on the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1945 to the early 1970s. Common readings will focus on U.S. strategy, nuclear weapons, and the crises of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Students can write on any topic related to the Cold War.
Section 2, 10-10:50 MWF, Professor Biles
"The History of Chicago" - Students will be asked to write a 15-20 page essay using primary and secondary sources. In addition, students will also write reviews for three books dealing with the history of Chicago.
Section 3, 9-10:15 MW, Professor Ciani
"Women's Activism in the Twentieth Century" - Students will learn about diverse forms of activism conducted by women in the twentieth century, including how certain actions influenced change at the personal, community, and societal level. Students will select a topic that explores a type of or incidence of activism among women. Any area of the world is acceptable; however, primary sources need to be accessible and secondary sources need to be available in both monograph and article form. A foundation in the histories of the 20th century and women's history is helpful but not necessary.
Section 4, 9:35-10:50 TR, Professor Reda
“America’s First “West” - America’s first “West” was the area between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. This course will examine the rich colonial history of this region and its subsequent incorporation into the newly formed United States. Starting with the French explorers who were the first Europeans to discover the route between the upper Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and down to the Gulf of Mexico, we will trace the interactions in the West between Native Americans and Europeans played out against a backdrop of the imperial competition for North America conducted by France, Spain and England. We conclude with an analysis of the events by which this region ultimately became part of the United States. This is not the colonial story of Pocahontas and the Pilgrims but of Joliet & Marquette, Daniel Boone, and George Rogers Clark, French explorers and fur traders and American backwoodsmen.
Section 5, 4:35-7:25 R, Professor Gifford
“The U.S. Civil War” – Focusing on the war years, 1861-1865, students will formulate a research project concerning the conflict. As background for your individual research, we will explore a variety of questions and historical arguments, including a look at the war and its effect on Bloomington, IL.
Section 2, 5-7:50 T, Professor Olsen
History 307 is designed to introduce students to the study of foreign intelligence. In particular, students will gain a familiarity with the structure and operation of the United States intelligence community, focusing on the actions of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. This course does not attempt to put forward a particular interpretation of the Agency and its conduct in relation to developing nations. Rather, through extensive case studies, its objective is to provide the opportunity for students to interpret for themselves the operational, political, and socio-economic soundness of particular operations, and their impacts upon the region. This course also provides students with the opportunity to gain further understanding of issues facing developing nations, reaching beyond the polemics frequently found in this field of study. Course assignments will introduce students to a range of sources used by historians and intelligence analysts. Students will also have the opportunity to strengthen writing and oral presentation skills as they conduct research on a particular current problem, and develop tasking requirements and a plan for covert action.
Section 1, 2-3:15 MW, Professor Tsouvala
“Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women and Sexuality in Greece and Rome” - The purpose of this course is to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the sources, methodologies, and the current debates focusing on women, gender, and sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome. We will explore the constructions of “womanhood” and “manhood,” as well as representations of women in ancient literature and art. By analyzing textual, visual, and archaeological evidence, we will focus on several basic questions: How did the Greeks and the Romans construct and understand gender, and how do they relate to modern constructs of gender? What were the customary attitudes toward sex and marriage for both men and women, and how did they vary in different places and times? What were the roles of women and how did they fit into the goals of the classical city-states, of the Hellenistic kingdoms, of the Roman Republic and of the early Empire? How much of the reality of women’s lives can we actually recover given that our surviving sources were almost entirely elite and produced by men? How are famous and infamous Greek and Roman women represented by ancient (and modern) society, and why?
Section 1, 9:35-10:50 TR, Professor R. Kennedy
"Global Conflict: 1914-1941" - This course is an advanced survey of international politics from 1914 to 1941. It will focus on the overturning of the existing international system during World War I, the attempt to establish a reformed world order in the 1920s, the breakdown of that order under the weight of the Great Depression and the rise of aggressive dictatorships, and finally the outbreak of a new general war in Europe in 1939 and the transformatio9n of that conflict into a world war in 1941. Readings include both primary and secondary sources.
Section 1, 5-8:50 T, Professor Nassar
"The Great War in the Middle East (1914-1918)" - Next year the world will commemorate World War I's centennial. Yet, despite the length of time since the war, historical studies on the subject remain to be dominated by the focus on Europe and its American Ally, largely ignoring its lasting impact on the Middle East. For a full century so far, World War I exerted as powerful an influence in the Middle East as the civil War did in the United States, if not more. And yet , beyond a small circle of professional historians, the war remains misunderstood and under appreciated. In standard histories of the war, the Middle East barely earns more than a chapter on the battle of Gallipoli and the adventures of Lawrence of Arabia.
Thanks to a new wave of transnational and interdisciplinary study among specialists, we are now in the position to tell a more robust story. And based on the evidence these specialists have gathered, this course treats World War I as the crucible for Middle Eastern politics and conflict throughout the 20th century and after. Understanding the experience of Middle Eastern peoples in the Great War is essential to understanding the region today. Study of the war from a holistic and transnational perspective yields new insights into controversial issues of waging "jihad" or holy war, and the causes of the Armenian genocide. It also offers new perspectives on long-term trends: how foreign intervention has shaped the region's politics, the region's lag in economic development, the emergence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rise of dictatorship, the turn to Islamism, the slide into pervasive political violence to this day.
The mission of the seminar is three-fold: to enrich understanding of the war itself, to promote a new research agenda, and to nourish this new subfield by building linkages between the war and its aftermath and the situation in the Middle East today.
This course is more of a reading seminar. We will read original research coming from various perspective and vantage points and discuss the reading in class. The instructor will provide the necessary content for each of the readings and will strive to make the connections between the readings evident.
Section 1, 5-8:50 M, Professor Varga-Harris
“Persuasion: Propaganda, Mass Marketing and Myth Making” – How have authoritarian governments used propaganda to sustain legitimacy, mobilize populations and build communities? How have propagandistic techniques been employed in countries with a vibrant civil society? How are national myths forged? How do certain groups within a given society come to be categorized and marked for specific campaigns? In each case, what are the anticipated and actual results? These are some of the queries that underlie this research seminar, centered on the theme of persuasion. Focusing on historical moments and phenomena of the late 19th through 20th centuries, this course broaches subjects as diverse as nationalism, imperialism, campaigns to rally support in the midst of crises like war or epidemics, Cold War rivalry, educational initiatives, and definitions of class, racial and gender norms.
In practical terms, this course is intended to build on the concepts and skills acquired in HIS 496 through the completion of a research paper based on some mode of persuasion – propaganda, mass marketing and myth making. Toward this end, the first part of the seminar will involve scrutinizing works by historians who have placed the notion of persuasion at the center of their research. These models of scholarship, together with discussions on discourse and visual analysis, will serve in preparation for examining sources as varied as posters, films, school textbooks, advertisements, prescriptive literature, government campaigns and travel writings.