History

Departmental Office: 413 Fayerweather; 212-854-4646
http://www.history.columbia.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Neslihan Şenocak , 324 Fayerweather; nsenocak@columbia.edu

Undergraduate Administrator: Kimberly Solomon; kms2307@columbia.edu

The history curriculum covers most areas of the world and most periods of history. It encourages students to develop historical understanding in the widest sense of the word: a thorough empirical grasp along with the kind of analytical skills that come with a genuinely historical sensibility. This is done through two types of courses: lectures and seminars. Lectures range from broad surveys of the history of a place or period to more thematically oriented courses. Seminars offer students the opportunity to work more closely with historical sources in smaller groups and to do more sophisticated written work. Because history courses usually have no prerequisites, there are no preordained sequences to follow. It is advisable, however, that students take a relevant lecture course in preparation for a seminar. Majors wishing to follow a more intensive program are advised to enroll in a historiography course and to undertake a senior thesis project. Historically, majors have pursued careers in a very wide range of areas including medicine, law, mass media, Wall Street, and academia.

Advanced Placement

Students may receive 3 credits toward the overall degree requirements for a score of 5 on the AP European History exam or the AP United States History exam. No points count toward or fulfill any requirements of the history major or concentration.

Advising

During their junior and senior years, majors and concentrators are advised by the faculty members of the Undergraduate Education Committee (UNDED). UNDED advisers also review and sign Plan of Study (POS) forms for majors and concentrators at least once per year. POS forms track students’ progress toward completing all major and concentration requirements. New history majors and concentrators may see any member of UNDED. For the most up-to-date information on UNDED members, please see the undergraduate advising page of the departmental website.

Majors and concentrators can also receive pure academic interest advising (non-requirement advising) from any faculty member and affiliated faculty member of the department.

First-years and sophomores considering a history major or concentration can seek advising from UNDED or any other faculty member.

For questions about requirements, courses, or the general program, majors and concentrators can also contact the undergraduate administrator.

Departmental Honors

To be eligible for departmental honors, the student must have a GPA of at least 3.6 in courses for the major, an ambitious curriculum, and an outstanding senior thesis. Honors are awarded on the basis of a truly outstanding senior thesis. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year.

Course Numbering

Courses are numbered by type:
UN 1xxx - Introductory Survey Lectures 
UN 2xxx - Undergraduate Lectures 
UN 3xxx - Undergraduate Seminars 
GU 4xxx - Joint Undergraduate/Graduate Seminars 

and field (with some exceptions):
x000-x059: Ancient
x060-x099: Medieval
x100-x199: Early modern Europe
x200-x299: East Central Europe
x300-x399: Modern Western Europe
x400-x599: United States
x600-x659: Jewish
x660-x699: Latin America
x700-x759: Middle East
x760-x799: Africa
x800-x859: South Asia
x860-x899: East Asia
x900-x999: Research, historiography, and transnational

Seminars

Seminars are integral to the undergraduate major in history. In these courses, students develop research and writing skills under the close supervision of a faculty member. Enrollment is normally limited to approximately 15 students. In order to maintain the small size of the courses, admission to most seminars is by instructor's permission or application.

In conjunction with the Barnard History Department and other departments in the University (particularly East Asian Languages and Cultures), the History Department offers about 25 seminars each semester that majors may use to meet their seminar requirements. While there are sufficient seminars offered to meet the needs of majors seeking to fulfill the two-seminar requirement, given the enrollment limits, students may not always be able to enroll in a particular seminar. Students should discuss with UNDED their various options for completing the seminar requirement.

The History Department has developed an on-line application system for some seminars. The department regularly provides declared majors and concentrators with information on upcoming application periods, which typically occur midway through the preceding semester. Students majoring in other fields, or students who have not yet declared a major, must inform themselves of the application procedures and deadlines by checking the undergraduate seminar page of the departmental website.

Professors

  • Charles Armstrong
  • Volker Berghahn (emeritus)
  • Richard Billows
  • Elizabeth Blackmar
  • Casey Blake
  • Christopher Brown
  • Richard Bulliet (emeritus)
  • Elisheva Carlebach
  • Mark Carnes (Barnard)
  • Zeynep Çelik
  • George Chauncey
  • John Coatsworth (Provost)
  • Matthew Connelly
  • Victoria de Grazia
  • Mamadou Diouf (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
  • Catherine Evtuhov 
  • Barbara Fields
  • Eric Foner (emeritus)
  • Carol Gluck
  • Martha Howell
  • Robert Hymes (East Asian Language and Cultures)
  • Kenneth Jackson
  • Karl Jacoby
  • Matthew Jones
  • Ira Katznelson (Political Science)
  • Joel Kaye (Barnard)
  • Alice Kessler-Harris (emerita)
  • Rashid Khalidi
  • Dorothy Ko (Barnard)
  • Adam Kosto
  • William Leach (emeritus)
  • Gregory Mann
  • Mark Mazower
  • Robert McCaughey (Barnard)
  • Stephanie McCurry
  • Jose Moya (Barnard)
  • Mae Ngai
  • Susan Pedersen
  • Pablo Piccato
  • Rosalind Rosenberg (Barnard)
  • David Rosner (Mailman School of Public Health)
  • David Rothman (Physicians and Surgeons)
  • Simon Schama (University Professor)
  • Seth Schwartz
  • Herbert Sloan (Barnard, emeritus)
  • Pamela Smith 
  • Robert Somerville (Religion)
  • Michael Stanislawski
  • Anders Stephanson
  • Lisa Tiersten (Barnard)
  • Adam Tooze
  • Deborah Valenze (Barnard)
  • Marc Van de Mieroop
  • Richard Wortman (emeritus)
  • Madeleine Zelin (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  •  

Associate Professors

  • Gergely Baics (Barnard)
  • Lisbeth Kim Brandt (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Paul Chamberlin 
  • Amy Chazkel
  • Charly Coleman
  • Marwa Elshakry
  • Frank Guridy
  • Hilary Hallett
  • Natasha Lightfoot
  • Malgorzata Mazurek
  • Nara Milanich
  • Lien-Hang Nguyen
  • Gregory Pflugfelder (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Caterina Pizzigoni
  • Anupama Rao (Barnard)
  • Camille Robcis
  • Samuel Roberts
  • Neslihan Senocak
  • Rhiannon Stephens
  • Gray Tuttle (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Carl Wennerlind (Barnard)
  •  

Assistant Professors

  • Hannah Farber
  • Andrew Lipman (Barnard)
  • Gulnar Kendirbai (Visiting)
  • A. Tunç Şen
  • Alma Steingart
  • Sailakshmi Ramgopal
  •  

Lecturers in Discipline

  • Victoria Phillips 
  •  

On Leave

Fall 2019: Armstrong, Carnes (Barnard), de Grazia, Howell, Piccato, Schwartz, Smith, Stephanson, Stephens, Tooze

Spring 2020: Armstrong, Baics, Gluck, Jackson, Piccato, Pizzigoni, Schwartz, Smith, Stephanson, Stephens, Tooze, Valenze

Guidelines for all History Majors and Concentrators

For detailed information about the history major or concentration, as well as the policies and procedures of the department, please refer to the History at Columbia Undergraduate Handbook, available for download on the departmental website.


Major in History

Students must complete a minimum of nine courses in the department, of which four or more must be in an area of specialization chosen by the student and approved by a member of UNDED. Students must also fulfill a breadth requirement by taking three courses outside of their specialization. Two of the courses taken in the major must be seminars (including one seminar in the chosen specialization).

The requirements of the undergraduate program encourage students to do two things:

  1. Develop a deeper knowledge of the history of a particular time and/or place. Students are required to complete a specialization by taking a number of courses in a single field of history of their own choosing. The field should be defined, in consultation with a member of UNDED, according to geographical, chronological, and/or thematic criteria. For example, a student might choose to specialize in 20th C. U.S. History, Medieval European History, Ancient Greek and Roman History, or Modern East Asian History. The specialization does not appear on the student's transcript, but provides an organizing principle for the program the student assembles in consultation with UNDED.
  2. Gain a sense of the full scope of history as a discipline by taking a broad range of courses. Students must fulfill a breadth requirement by taking courses outside their own specialization -- at least one course removed in time and two removed in space.
    1. Time: majors and concentrators must take at least one course removed in time from their specialization:
      • Students specializing in the modern period must take at least one course in the pre-modern period; students specializing in the pre-modern period must take at least one course in the modern period.

      • If the course proposed is in the same regional field as a student's specialization, special care must be taken to ensure that it is as far removed as possible; please consult with UNDED to make sure a given course counts for the chronological breadth requirement. 

    2. Space: majors must take at least two additional courses in regional fields not their own:

      • These two "removed in space" courses must also cover two different regions.
      • For example, students specializing in some part of Europe must take two courses in Africa, East or South Asia, Latin America/Caribbean, Middle East, and/or the U.S.
      • Some courses cover multiple geographic regions. If a course includes one of the regions within a student's specialization, that course cannot count towards the breadth requirement unless it is specifically approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. For example, if a student is specializing in 20th C. U.S. history and takes the class World War II in Global Perspective, the class is too close to the specialization and may not count as a regional breadth course.

All courses in the Barnard History Department as well as select courses in East Asian Languages and Cultures; Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies; and other departments count toward the major. Eligible inter-departmental courses may include: 

  • African Civilizations (AFCV UN1020) (when taught by Professor Gregory Mann, Professor Rhiannon Stephens, or PhD students in the Columbia University Department of History; the course does NOT count for History when taught by anyone else)
  • Primary Texts of Latin American Civilization (LACV UN1020) (when taught by Professor Pablo Piccato, Professor Caterina Pizzigoni, or PhD students in the Columbia University Department of History; the course does NOT count for History when taught by anyone else)
  • Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China (ASCE UN1359), Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Japan (ASCE UN1361)Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Korea (ASCE UN1363) or other ASCE UN1xxx courses (when taught by Professors Charles Armstrong, Carol Gluck, Robert Hymes, Dorothy Ko, Eugenia Lean, Feng Li, David Lurie, Jungwon Kim, Paul Kreitman, Gregory Pflugfelder, Gray Tuttle, or Madeleine Zelin, and NOT when they are taught by anyone else)
  • Please see the Courses section on the departmental website to see which of these might count in a given semester. Any courses not listed or linked on the departmental website, however historical in approach or content, do not count toward the history major or concentration, except with explicit written approval of the UNDED chair.
  • If you suspect a History course has escaped being listed at the above link and want to confirm whether or not it counts for History students, please contact the Undergraduate Administrator.

Thematic Specializations

Suitably focused thematic and cross-regional specializations are permitted and the breadth requirements for students interested in these topics are set in consultation with a member of UNDED. Classes are offered in fields including, but not limited to:

  • Ancient history
  • Medieval history
  • Early modern European history
  • Modern European history
  • United States history
  • Latin American and Caribbean history
  • Middle Eastern history
  • East Asian history
  • South Asian history

Additionally, classes are offered in thematic and cross-regional fields which include, but are not limited to:

  • Intellectual history
  • Jewish history
  • Women's history
  • International history
  • History of science

These fields are only examples. Students should work with a member of UNDED to craft a suitably focused specialization on the theme or field that interests them.

Thesis Requirements

Majors may elect to write a senior thesis, though this is not a graduation requirement. Only senior thesis writers are eligible to be considered for departmental honors. The senior thesis option is not available to concentrators.

The yearlong HIST UN3838-HIST UN3839 Senior Thesis Seminar carries 8 points, 4 of which typically count as a seminar in the specialization. For the most up-to-date information on the field designations for history courses, please see the Courses section of the departmental website.


Concentration in History

Effective February 2018, students must complete a minimum of six courses in history. At least three of the six courses must be in an area of specialization, one far removed in time, and one on a geographic region far removed in space. There is no seminar requirement for the concentration.

Fall 2019 History Courses

HIST UN1010 The Ancient Greeks 800-146 B.C.E.. 4 points.

A review of the history of the Greek world from the beginnings of Greek archaic culture around 800 B.C., through the classical and hellenistic periods to the definitive Roman conquest in 146 B.C., with concentration on political history, but attention also to social and cultural developments.Field(s): ANC

Fall 2019: HIST UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1010 001/36466 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
203 Mathematics Building
Richard Billows 4 62/110

HIST UN1002 Ancient History of Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. 4 points.

A survey of the political and cultural history of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Iran from prehistory to the disappearance of the cuneiform documentation, with special emphasis on Mesopotamia. Groups(s): A

Fall 2019: HIST UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1002 001/36479 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
233 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Marc Van De Mieroop 4 32/75

HIST UN1768 European Intellectual History. 4 points.

This course provides an introduction to some of the major landmarks in European cultural and intellectual history, from the aftermath of the French Revolution to the 1970s.  We will pay special attention to the relationship between texts (literature, anthropology, political theory, psychoanalysis, art, and film) and the various contexts in which they were produced.  Among other themes, we will discuss the cultural impact of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialism, colonialism, modernism, the Russian Revolution, the two world wars, decolonization, feminism and gay liberation movements, structuralism and poststructuralism.  In conjunction, we will examine how modern ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, Marxism, imperialism, fascism, totalitarianism, neoliberalism) were developed and challenged over the course of the last two centuries. 


Participation in weekly discussion sections staffed by TAs is mandatory.  The discussion sections are 50 minutes per session.  Students must register for the general discussion (“DISC”) section, and will be assigned to a specific time and TA instructor once the course begins.

HIST UN1786 History of the City in Latin America. 4 points.

This course covers the historical development of cities in Latin America. Readings, lectures, and discussion sections will examine the concentration of people in commercial and political centers from the beginnings of European colonization in the fifteenth century to the present day and will introduce contrasting approaches to the study of urban culture, politics, society, and the built environment. Central themes include the reciprocal relationships between growing urban areas and the countryside; changing power dynamics in modern Latin America, especially as they impacted the lives of cities’ nonelite majority populations; the legalities and politics of urban space; planned versus unplanned cities and the rise of informal economies; the way changing legal and political rights regimes have affected urban life; and the constant tension between tradition and progress through which urban society was formed. There are no prerequisites for this course.  Attendance at weekly Discussion Sections required.

HIST UN2112 The Scientific Revolution in Western Europe: 1500-1750. 4 points.

Introduction to the cultural, social, and intellectual history of the upheavals of astronomy, anatomy, mathematics, alchemy from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Field(s): EME

Fall 2019: HIST UN2112
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2112 001/36481 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
517 Hamilton Hall
Matthew Jones 4 13/40

HIST UN2377 INTERNATIONAL & GLOBAL HISTORY SINCE WWII. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

In this course students will explore contemporary international and global history, focusing on how states have cooperated and competed in the Cold War, decolonization, and regional crises. But lectures will also analyze how non-governmental organizations, cross-border migration, new means of communication, and global markets are transforming the international system as a whole. Group(s): B, C, D Field(s): INTL

Fall 2019: HIST UN2377
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2377 001/36468 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Davis International House
Matthew Connelly 4 117/175

HIST UN2432 The United States In the Era of Civil War and Reconstruction. 4 points.

The coming of the Civil War and its impact on the organization of American society afterwards. 

Fall 2019: HIST UN2432
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2432 001/36482 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
Stephanie McCurry 4 64/110

HIST UN2478 U.S. Intellectual History, 1865 To the Present. 3 points.

This course examines major themes in U.S. intellectual history since the Civil War. Among other topics, we will examine the public role of intellectuals; the modern liberal-progressive tradition and its radical and conservative critics; the uneasy status of religion ina secular culture; cultural radicalism and feminism; critiques of corporate capitalism and consumer culture; the response of intellectuals to hot and cold wars, the Great Depression, and the upheavals of the 1960s. Fields(s): US

Fall 2019: HIST UN2478
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2478 001/36470 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
Casey Blake 3 53/110

HIST UN2523 History of Health Inequality in the Modern United States. 4 points.

Through assigned readings and a group research project, students will gain familiarity with a range of historical and social science problems at the intersection of ethnic/racial/sexual formations, technological networks, and health politics since the turn of the twentieth century. Topics to be examined will include, but will not be limited to, black women's health organization and care; HIV/AIDS politics, policy, and community response; "benign neglect"; urban renewal and gentrification; medical abuses and the legacy of Tuskegee; tuberculosis control; and environmental justice. There are no required qualifications for enrollment, although students will find the material more accessible if they have had previous coursework experience in United States history, pre-health professional (pre-med, pre-nursing, or pre-public health), African-American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, or American Studies. 

Fall 2019: HIST UN2523
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2523 001/36483 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
503 Hamilton Hall
Samuel Roberts 4 26/54

HIST UN2533 US Lesbian and Gay History. 4 points.

This course explores the social, cultural, and political history of lesbians, gay men, and other socially constituted sexual and gender minorities, primarily in the twentieth century.  Since the production and regulation of queer life has always been intimately linked to the production and policing of “normal” sexuality and gender, we will also pay attention to the shifting boundaries of normative sexuality, especially heterosexuality, as well as other developments in American history that shaped gay life, such as the Second World War, Cold War, urbanization, and the minority rights revolution.  Themes include the emergence of homosexuality and heterosexuality as categories of experience and identity; the changing relationship between homosexuality and transgenderism; the development of diverse lesbian and gay subcultures and their representation in popular culture; the sources of antigay hostility; religion and sexual science; generational change and everyday life; AIDS; and gay, antigay, feminist, and queer movements.      

Fall 2019: HIST UN2533
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2533 001/36472 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
George Chauncey 4 80/110

HIST UN2580 THE HISTORY OF UNITED STATES RELATIONS WITH EAST ASIA. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This lecture course examines the history of the relationship between the United States and the countries of East Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The first half of the course will examine the factors drove the United States to acquire territorial possessions in Asia, to vie for a seat at the imperial table at China’s expense, and to eventual confrontation with Japan over mastery in the Pacific from the turn of the century leading to the Second World War. The second half of the course will explore the impact of U.S. policy toward East Asia during the Cold War when Washington’s policy of containment, which included nation-building, development schemes, and waging war, came up against East Asia’s struggles for decolonization, revolution, and modernization.  Not only will this course focus on state-to-state relations, it will also address a multitude of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese perspectives on the United States and American culture through translated text, oral history, fiction, and memoir.


Participation in weekly discussion sections, which will begin no later than the third week of classes, is mandatory. 

Fall 2019: HIST UN2580
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2580 001/36486 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
209 Havemeyer Hall
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 110/110

HIST UN2587 Sport & Society in the Americas. 4 points.

This course explores the ways organized sport constitutes and disrupts dominant understandings of nation, race, gender, and sexuality throughout the Americas. Working from the notion that sport is “more than a game,” the class will examine the social, cultural and political impact of sports in a variety of American contexts in the past and present. While our primary geographic focus will be the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean, the thrust of the course encourages students to consider sports in local, national, and transnational contexts.  The guiding questions of the course are: What is the relationship between sport and society? How does sport inform political struggles within and across national borders? How does sport reinforce and/or challenge social hierarchies? Can sport provide visions of alternative conceptions of the self and community? Throughout the semester, we will examine such topics as: the continuing political struggles surrounding mega-events such as the Olympics and World Cup, the role of professional baseball in the rise and fall of Jim Crow segregation, the contradictory impact of high school football in Texas, the centrality of tennis to the women’s movement in the United States, and the role of sports in the growth of the city of Los Angeles. Course materials include works by historians, sociologists, social theorists, and journalists who have also been key contributors to the burgeoning field of sports studies. 

Fall 2019: HIST UN2587
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2587 001/36488 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
402 Chandler
Frank Guridy 4 66/110

HIST UN2618 The Modern Caribbean. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This lecture course examines the social, cultural, and political history of the islands of the Caribbean Sea and the coastal regions of Central and South America that collectively form the Caribbean region, from Amerindian settlement, through the era of European imperialism and African enslavement, to the period of socialist revolution and independence. The course will examine historical trajectories of colonialism, slavery, and labor regimes; post-emancipation experiences and migration; radical insurgencies and anti-colonial movements; and intersections of race, culture, and neocolonialism. It will also investigate the production of national, creole, and transborder indentities. Formerly listed as "The Caribbean in the 19th and 20th centuries". Field(s): LAC 

Fall 2019: HIST UN2618
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2618 001/36490 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
501 Schermerhorn Hall
Natasha Lightfoot 4 104/110

HIST UN2628 History of the State of Israel, 1948-Present. 3 points.

The political, cultural, and social history of the State of Israel from its founding in 1948 to the present. Group(s): C Field(s): ME

Fall 2019: HIST UN2628
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2628 001/36516 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
825 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Michael Stanislawski 3 29/75

HIST UN2719 History of the Modern Middle East. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Graduate students must register for HIST G6998 version of this course.

This course will cover the history of the Middle East from the 18th century until the present, examining the region ranging from Morocco to Iran and including the Ottoman Empire. It will focus on transformations in the states of the region, external intervention, and the emergence of modern nation-states, as well as aspects of social, economic, cultural and intellectual history of the region. Field(s): ME

Fall 2019: HIST UN2719
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2719 001/36492 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
417 International Affairs Bldg
Rashid Khalidi 4 210/250

HIST UN2772 West African History. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course offers a survey of main themes in West African history over the last millenium, with particular emphasis on the period from the mid-15th through the 20th century. Themes include the age of West African empires (Ghana, Mali, Songhay); re-alignments of economic and political energies towards the Atlantic coast; the rise and decline of the trans-Atlantic trade in slaves; the advent and demise of colonial rule; and internal displacement, migrations, and revolutions. In the latter part of the course, we will appraise the continuities and ruptures of the colonial and post-colonial eras. Group(s): C Field(s): AFR 

Fall 2019: HIST UN2772
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2772 001/36494 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
602 Hamilton Hall
Gregory Mann 3 59/75

HSME UN2810 History of South Asia I: al-Hind to Hindustan. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Graduate students must register for HIST G6998 version of this course.

This survey lecture course will provide students with a broad overview of the history of South Asia as a region - focusing on key political, cultural and social developments over more than two millennia. The readings include both primary sources (in translation) and secondary works. Our key concerns will be the political, cultural and theological encounters of varied communities, the growth of cities and urban spaces, networks of trade and migrations and the development of both local and cosmopolitan cultures across Southern Asia. The survey will begin with early dynasties of the classical period and then turn to the subsequent formation of various Perso-Turkic polities, including the development and growth of hybrid political cultures such as those of Vijayanagar and the Mughals. The course also touches on Indic spiritual and literary traditions such as Sufi and Bhakti movements. Near the end of our course, we will look forward towards the establishment of European trading companies and accompanying colonial powers.

Fall 2019: HSME UN2810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSME 2810 001/36464 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
313 Fayerweather
Manan Ahmed 3 60/75

HIST UN3011 The Second World War. 4 points.

This course surveys some of the major historiographical debates surrounding the Second World War. It aims to provide student with an international perspective of the conflict that challenges conventional understandings of the war. In particular, we will examine the ideological, imperial, and strategic dimensions of the war in a global context. Students will also design, research, and write a substantial essay of 15-18 pages in length that makes use of both primary and secondary sources.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3011 001/11346 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4 14/15
Fall 2019: HIST UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3011 001/36474 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4 15/15

HIST UN3019 Rivers, Politics, and Power in the United States. 4 points.

Rivers have played a central role in the creation of the modern United States whether through the trade networks they formed or the rise of the environmental movement in the twentieth century when stinking and burning rivers across the nation made it impossible to ignore the costs of economic progress. This seminar begins by defining rivers as a unique natural and historical process, followed by an exploration of rivers' connections to the rise of capitalism and nationalism, but the course focuses on the history of the twentieth century when rivers become important international borders, cities boomed, and citizens debated how to control rivers and the people who lived along them. While rivers such as the Columbia River have served to concentrate wealth and political power through government-built dams administered by an elite group of bureaucrats, others like many of the flood-prone rivers of the South have limited both economic development and landlord's ability to control people. This seminar is an environmental, political, and social history of rivers in the United States, that uses the two rivers closest to Columbia's campus, the Hudson and Harlem rivers, as case studies for the entire course.

HIST UN3032 Pre-Colonial Mesoamerican Societies and Cultures, ca. 1200 BCE-1600 CE. 4 points.

This course explores the histories, social organizations, and material cultures of the pre-colonial peoples of Central America and Mexico between ca. 1200 BCE and 1600 CE, with a particular focus on the three best-attested societies: the Olmecs, the Maya, and the Aztecs. Through an interdisciplinary examination of textual and archaeological sources, the class will address the extent to which one can highlight a common ‘Mesoamerican’ worldview as a lens to better understand the societies of this region. (No prerequisites)

HIST UN3069 History of the American Middle Class . 4 points.

What does it mean to be middle class in America, and what has it meant historically? This course examines the history of middle-class status in America, from the early days of professionalization and corporate bureaucracy, to the progressive era political mobilization, to the mid-century consumerist era, to the present white collar precariat. By looking at cultural habits, social organization, and political engagement, and by examining materials from living room furniture to avocado toast, we'll chart the rise and fall of the most sought-after class denomination in American history.

HIST UN3335 20th Century New York City History. 4 points.

This course explores critical areas of New York's economic development in the 20th century, with a view to understanding the rise, fall and resurgence of this world capital. Discussions also focus on the social and political significance of these shifts. Assignments include primary sources, secondary readings, film viewings, trips, and archival research. Students use original sources as part of their investigation of New York City industries for a 20-page research paper. An annotated bibliography is also required. Students are asked to give a weekly update on research progress, and share information regarding useful archives and websites.

Fall 2019: HIST UN3335
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3335 001/36497 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Kenneth Jackson 4 13/15
HIST 3335 002/13381 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Kenneth Jackson 4 17/18

EAAS UN3338 Cultural History of Japanese Monsters. 3 points.

Priority is given to EALAC and History majors, as well as to those who have done previous coursework on Japan.

From Godzilla to Pokemon (literally, "pocket monster") toys, Japanese monsters have become a staple commodity of late-capitalist global pop culture. This course seeks to place this phenomenon within a longer historical, as well as a broader cross-cultural, context. Through an examination of texts and images spanning over thirteen centuries of Japanese history, along with comparable productions from other cultures, students will gain an understanding not only of different conceptions and representations of monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures in Japan, but also of the role of the "monstrous" in the cultural imagination more generally. The course draws on various media and genres of representation, ranging from written works, both literary and scholarly, to the visual arts, material culture, drama, and cinema. Readings average 100-150 pages per week. Several film and video screenings are scheduled in addition to the regular class meetings. Seating is limited, with final admission based on a written essay and other information to be submitted to the instructor before the beginning of the semester.

Fall 2019: EAAS UN3338
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3338 001/44511 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
101 Kent Hall
Gregory Pflugfelder 3 9/13

HIST UN3838 Senior Thesis Seminar. 4 points.

A year-long course for outstanding senior majors who want to conduct research in primary sources on a topic of their choice in any aspect of history, and to write a senior thesis possibly leading toward departmental honors. 

Fall 2019: HIST UN3838
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3838 001/36498 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Elisheva Carlebach 4 12/13
HIST 3838 002/36499 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
George Chauncey 4 7/13
HIST 3838 003/36500 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
411 Fayerweather
Natasha Lightfoot 4 9/13
HIST 3838 004/36501 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
501b International Affairs Bldg
Hilary-Anne Hallett 4 11/13

CSER UN3928 Colonization/Decolonization. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission.

This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents.

Spring 2019: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/18445 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Theodore Hughes 4 16/22
Fall 2019: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/57875 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4 19/22

HIST UN3930 The Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age. 4 points.

This course presents a comparative study of the histories of Egypt, the Near East, Anatolia and the Aegean world in the period from c. 1500-1100 BC, when several of the states provide a rich set of textual and archaeological data. It will focus on the region as a system with numerous participants whose histories will be studied in an international context. The course is a seminar: students are asked to investigate a topic (e.g., diplomacy, kingship, aspects of the economy, etc.) in several of the states involved and present their research in class and as a paper.

Fall 2019: HIST UN3930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3930 001/36502 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Marc Van De Mieroop 4 6/15

HIST GU4083 Crime and Punishment in the Middle Ages. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

How a society defines crime, and how it deals with the criminals tells us a lot about the moral values, and the political and economic structure of that society, as well as its internal conflicts, superstitions, and fears. Often supposed to be a barbaric community of ignorant unruly men governed by greedy kings and popes, the medieval society in the popular culture is often an inspiration to the grotesque representations of violence and torture. Even an intellectual like Michel Foucault did not hesitate to advance a theory of medieval punishment, albeit a terribly wrong one, as one that focuses on the body and spectacle.  This course is designed to trace the origins of the modern criminal legislation and practices to the Middle Ages, some of which were jury trial, public persecution, and prisons. How did these practices come about, and under which social conditions? The focus of the course will be on violent crimes, such as murder, robbery, assault and suicide, and some particularly medieval crimes like sorcery, blasphemy and sodomy. The geographical scope will be limited to England, Italy and France. The class discussions are expected to take the form of collective brainstorming on how the political powers, social classes, cultural values, and religious beliefs affect the development of criminal legislation and institutions. Whenever possible the weekly readings will feature a fair share of medieval texts, including trial records, criminal laws, a manual for trying witches, and prison poetry. Field(s): *MED

HIST GU4121 MARGINS OF HISTORIOGRAPHY: . 4 points.

Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of Turkish and/or French is desirable but not mandatory. Students who cannot read Turkish but are interested in enrolling are still encouraged to contact the course instructors.

This seminar aims to open a window onto historiographic traditions from overlooked contexts, with the argument that they broaden the field from much needed empirical and theoretical perspectives, while at the same time offer new venues to trigger critical thinking. Relying on their respective specialties, Professors Çelik and Şen will familiarize the students with the key works, trends, and names of the rigorous and essential scholarship in Ottoman-Turkish historiography that students of Ottoman-Turkish-Middle East history should be familiar with for their research and teaching. This exposure will also serve well history students in other areas in building comparative frameworks. Weekly discussion topics will range from economic and social history to history of science, urban history, and visual and literary culture, altogether coalescing into a multi-dimensional picture. Each week the instructors will present the major scholarly traditions and introduce key historians by intersecting them with the twentieth-century politico-cultural history. These presentations will be followed by the close discussion of assigned readings (mostly in English and to a limited extent in Turkish and French), with references to relevant historiographical traditions effective at the time on a global scale. Along the way, the students will be exposed to the work of legendary historians, among them Halil İnalcık and Ömer Lütfi Barkan, who examined exhaustive periods of Ottoman history, shifting from economic to social and cultural history and triangulating their arguments from different angles.

HIST GU4217 Women as Cold War Weapons . 4 points.

Cold War ideological campaigns for the “hearts and minds” abutted “hot war” confrontations between 1945 and 1991, and women engaged with both. This course has three purposes: (i) to examine the role of women in the United States as a reflection and enactment of Cold War politics; (ii) to provide an understanding of cultural forces in building ideas in foreign markets; (iii) to reframe the understanding of power as a strategy of United States Cold War battles. To this end, the class will open with a history and examination of women and the traditional narratives of the nation at “wars,” and then continue to explore the political power of women, cultural diplomacy, military operations, and conclude with two case studies. This seminar examines the history of government and private sector mechanisms used to export national ideals by and about women in order to enact American foreign policy agendas in the Cold War. To build their knowledge, students will be asked to parse primary materials in the context of secondary readings. They will do class presentations and present at a conference, and will have the opportunity to discuss their interests with leading scholars of the Cold War. The requirements include significant weekly readings, postings, attendance at discussions, a class presentation, and participation in the class conference at the conclusion of the semester.

Fall 2019: HIST GU4217
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4217 001/10358 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Victoria Phillips 4 11/20

HIST GU4426 People of the Old South. 4 points.

No place or period in American history has ignited more passion or brought into being a richer trove of first-rate scholarship than the South during the years before the Civil War.  On the other hand, no place or period in American history has generated more misguided scholarship or more propaganda. In this course, students will sample historical literature and primary sources about the Old South, evaluating the interpretations historians have offered and scrutinizing some of the documents on which historians of the Old South have based their conclusions.

Fall 2019: HIST GU4426
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4426 001/36504 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Barbara Fields 4 10/15

HIST GU4455 Transnational Migration and Citizenship. 4 points.

This course will read recent scholarship on migration and citizenship (with some nod to classic works); as well as theoretical work by historians and social scientists in the U.S. and Europe on the changing conceptual frameworks that are now shaping the field.  The first half of the course will read in the literature of U.S. immigration history.  The second half of the course is comparative, with readings in the contexts of empire, colonialism and contemporary refugee and migration issues in the U.S. and Europe.

HIST GU4470 Cold War Power. 4 points.

Cold War “soft power” ideological campaigns for the “hearts and minds of men” abutted “hot war” confrontations between 1945 and 1991 and beyond. This seminar examines the history of government and private sector mechanisms used to export national ideals and ideas about America in order to enact foreign policy agendas in contested regions. The class will open with an examination of power - hard and soft - propaganda, "truth," and "informational" practices - and then continue to explore cultural diplomacy. Primary sources including radio broadcasts, music, agriculture, and architecture are examined in the context of secondary readings about the Cold War. Because New York City became postwar “cultural capital of the world,” student trips include the Rockefeller Archives Center, the Museum of Radio and Television, Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts archives, and the Oral History Research Center, Rare Book and Manuscript Library.   This course has three purposes: (i) to examine the role of culture as a reflection and enactment of Cold War politics; (ii) to provide an understanding of cultural forces in building ideas in foreign markets; (iii) to reframe the understanding of “soft” and “hard” power as a strategy of Cold War battles.

Fall 2019: HIST GU4470
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4470 001/10359 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Victoria Phillips 4 12/25

HIST GU4568 The American Landscape to 1877. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Field(s): US

Fall 2019: HIST GU4568
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4568 001/36475 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Elizabeth Blackmar 4 9/12

HIST GU4588 Substance Abuse Politics in African-American History. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Through a series of secondary- and primary-source readings and research writing assignments, students in this seminar course will explore one of the most politically controversial aspects in the history of public health in the United States as it has affected peoples of color: intoxicating substances. Course readings are primarily historical, but sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists are also represented on the syllabus. The course's temporal focus - the twentieth century - allows us to explore the historical political and social configurations of opium, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, medical maintenance (methadone), the War on Drugs, the carceral state and hyperpolicing, harm reduction and needle/syringe exchange. This semester's principal focus will be on the origins and evolution of the set of theories, philosophies, and practices which constitute harm reduction. The International Harm Reduction Association/Harm Reduction International offers a basic, though not entirely comprehensive, definition of harm reduction in its statement, "What is Harm Reduction?" (http://www.ihra.net/what-is-harm-reduction): "Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of psychoactive drugs in people unable or unwilling to stop. The defining features are the focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of drug use itself, and the focus on people who continue to use drugs."[1] Harm reduction in many U.S. communities of color, however, has come to connote a much wider range of activity and challenges to the status quo. In this course we will explore the development of harm reduction in the United States and trace its evolution in the political and economic context race, urban neoliberalism, and no-tolerance drug war. The course will feature site visits to harm reduction organizations in New York City, guest lectures, and research/oral history analysis. This course has been approved for inclusion in both the African-American Studies and History undergraduate curricula (majors and concentrators). HIST W4588 will be open to both undergraduate and masters students. To apply, please complete the Google form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xaPFhQOzkl1NHnIjQIen9h41iel2hXAdhV59D5wH8AQ/viewform?usp=send_form. Questions may be directed to skroberts@columbia.edu.  

Spring 2019: HIST GU4588
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4588 001/63866 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
411 Fayerweather
Samuel Roberts 4 11/15
Fall 2019: HIST GU4588
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4588 001/36506 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Samuel Roberts 4 16/22

HIST GU4924 Spatial History and Historical GIS. 4 points.

This course introduces students to the emerging methodologies that combine geographic information systems (GIS) with historical thinking. Students will study and evaluate the benefits and limitations of key works in historical GIS, become familiar with basic principles of cartographic design, and learn technical skills to create their own HGIS project.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4924
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4924 001/24695 F 8:10pm - 10:00pm
311 Fayerweather
S. Wright Kennedy 4 27/30
Fall 2019: HIST GU4924
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4924 001/10352 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
102 Milstein Center
S. Wright Kennedy 4 8/12
HIST 4924 002/18715 F 8:00am - 9:50am
Room TBA
S. Wright Kennedy 4 4/12

Spring 2019 History Courses

HIST UN1004 Ancient History of Egypt. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

A survey of the history of ancient Egypt from the first appearance of the state to the conquest of the country by Alexander of Macedon, with emphasis of the political history, but also with attention to the cultural, social, and economic developments. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN1004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1004 001/61494 T Th 5:40pm - 6:55pm
Room TBA
Marc Van De Mieroop 4 213/320

HIST UN1020 THE ROMANS AND THEIR EMPIRE, 754 BCE TO 641 CE. 4 points.

Rome and its empire, from the beginning to late antiquity. Field(s): ANC.  Discussion section required.

Spring 2019: HIST UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1020 001/17984 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
313 Fayerweather
Myles McDonnell 4 42/75

HIST UN1037 Introduction to History of Ukraine. 4 points.

Our goal is to gain a general understanding of the history of the country, with the ability to identify its disputed and controversial topics. Often, sharply different and politically loaded viewpoints and interpretations circulate. Like other European countries, Ukraine has not existed as a national entity throughout history, but has emerged in a historical process.


We will discuss different interpretations of medieval Rus, and then survey the history of the region from the end of the sixteenth century to present, paying attention to politics, economy, social structure, ideas, ethnic groups and nationalities, and gender. The topics to be discussed include the Church Union of Brest, Cossack Wars, the autonomous Hetmanate under Russian suzerainty, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Habsburg Empire, Russian Empire, World War I, revolution and short-lived Ukrainian states 1917-21, Ukrainians in the interwar Poland and the Soviet Union, Holodomor or the Great Famine 1932-33, World War II and Holocaust in Ukraine, destalinization in Ukraine, independent Ukraine and its political upheavals, including the recent Russian attack on Ukraine.

Spring 2019: HIST UN1037
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1037 001/27498 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
101 Knox Hall
Johannes Remy 4 7/40

HIST UN2072 Daily Life in Medieval Europe. 4 points.

This course is designed as traveller’s guide to medieval Europe. Its purpose is to provide a window to a long-lost world that provided the foundation of modern institutions and that continues to inspire the modern collective artistic and literary imagination with its own particularities. This course will not be a conventional history course concentrating on the grand narratives in the economic, social and political domains but rather intend to explore the day-to-day lives of the inhabitants, and attempts to have a glimpse of their mindset, their emotional spectrum, their convictions, prejudices, fears and hopes. It will be at once a historical, sociological and anthropological study of one of the most inspiring ages of European civilization. Subjects to be covered will include the birth and childhood, domestic life, sex and marriage, craftsmen and artisans, agricultural work, food and diet, the religious devotion, sickness and its cures, death, after death (purgatory and the apparitions), travelling, merchants and trades, inside the nobles’ castle, the Christian cosmos, and medieval technology. The lectures will be accompanied by maps, images of illuminated manuscripts and of medieval objects. Students will be required to attend a weekly discussion section to discuss the medieval texts bearing on that week’s subject. The written course assignment will be a midterm, final and two short papers, one an analysis of a medieval text and a second an analysis of a modern text on the Middle Ages. 

HIST UN2088 The Historical Jesus and the Origin of Christianity. 4 points.

The goal of this course will be to subject the source materials about Jesus and the very beginnings of Christianity (before about 150 CE) to a strictly historical-critical examination and analysis, to try to understand the historical underpinnings of what we can claim to know about Jesus, and how Christianity arose as a new religion from Jesus' life and teachings. In addition, since the search or quest for the "historical Jesus" has been the subject of numerous studies and books in recent times, we shall examine a selection of prominent "historical Jesus" works and theories to see how they stand up to critical scrutiny from a historical perspective.

HIST UN2302 The European Catastrophe, 1914-1945. 4 points.

This course is intended to provide an introduction to some major debates in European history in the era of the two world wars. It is not an introductory-level survey course, and students should either have taken such a survey already or be willing to read a background textbook as the course proceeds. Beginning with the condition of Europe on the eve of the First World War, it explores the causes, experience and long-term impact of the First World War on European politics, societies and individual lives. It ranges from a consideration of the transformation of European capitalism, and the challenge presented by Soviet Bolshevism to the crisis of liberal democracy and the European embrace of the authoritarian and fascist Right. At the same time, it traces the way writers, artists, film-makers and poets came to terms with their age and exposes the way that beneath the creative expressions of a literate elite, long-term changes in the composition of society – the plight of the peasantry in an era of falling commodity prices, the immiseration of the urban working class faced with mass unemployment and the Slump – enhanced international tensions and complicated diplomacy.  It explores the unraveling of the post-1918 stabilisation and the undermining of the authority of the League of Nations as Europe split into warring camps for a second time. Finally, it traces the emergence of a Nazi Europe underwritten by Germany military power and transformed by racist ideas, the collapse of this edifice and the nature of the political and ideological reconstruction that followed after 1945.

Spring 2019: HIST UN2302
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2302 001/91399 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ren Kraft Center
Mark Mazower 4 55/100

HIST UN2360 Twentieth Century Britain: Between Democracy and Empire. 4 points.

In this course, we will trace the history of Britain as a modern democratic, imperial, and post-colonial nation from 1900 to the present. We will focus on how events like war and revolution (both at home and abroad) altered Britain, and how broader developments in political culture, economic integration, social transformation, and cultural transmission shaped the people and practices we understand as “British.” Topics to be covered include war and society; the political unions with Ireland and Scotland; the era of universal suffrage; social welfare and the role of the state; decolonization and mass migration; new social movements; and Britain’s relationship with the European Union.

Spring 2019: HIST UN2360
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2360 001/77200 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
702 Hamilton Hall
Sarah Mass 4 21/75

HIST UN2398 The Politics of Terror: The French Revolution. 4 points.

 This course examines the political culture of eighteenth-century France, from the final decades of the Bourbon monarchy to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Among our primary aims will be to explore the origins of the Terror and its relationship to the Revolution as a whole. Other topics we will address include the erosion of the king's authority in the years leading up to 1789, the fall of the Bastille, the Constitutions of 1791 and 1793, civil war in the Vendée, the militarization of the Revolution, the dechristianization movement, attempts to establish a new Revolutionary calendar and civil religion, and the sweeping plans for moral regeneration led by Robespierre and his colleagues in 1793-1794.

Spring 2019: HIST UN2398
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2398 001/13805 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
702 Hamilton Hall
Charly Coleman 4 44/75

HIST UN2441 Making of the Modern American Landscape. 4 points.

Social history of the built environment since 1870, looking at urban and rural landscapes, vernacular architecture of industry, housing, recreation, and public space. Considers government policies, real estate investment, and public debates over land use and the natural environment. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN2441
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2441 001/11696 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
413 Kent Hall
Elizabeth Blackmar 4 56/75

HIST UN2491 U.S. Foreign Relations, 1890-1990. 4 points.

The general object of this course is to illuminate how histories of what we think of as ‘international’ are structured by means of key concepts, foundational concepts which form (i) semantic fields constitutive of politics and policy as well as (ii) grounds for periodization. The seminar this year will be devoted, specifically, to a series of 'basic documents' of the early cold war, primary sources, chiefly U.S., which will be examined by means of close readings, ultimately with a view to problematize the conventional period known indeed as ’the cold war.' The design is thus unusual in that there will be only a single book, Melvyn Leffler’s Preponderance of Power, which provides a survey of the Truman Administration and so will be a reference text for the US side, at least. The remaining materials will be available in Courseworks. (This course may not be taken concurrently with UN 2492 US Foreign Relations 1890-1990.)

Spring 2019: HIST UN2491
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2491 001/14933 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Anders Stephanson 4 43/75

HIST UN2540 History of the South. 4 points.

A survey of the history of the American South from the colonial era to the present day, with two purposes: first, to afford students an understanding of the special historical characteristics of the South and of southerners; and second, to explore what the experience of the South may teach about America as a nation. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN2540
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2540 001/67286 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
313 Fayerweather
Barbara Fields 4 45/75

HIST UN2657 Medieval Jewish Cultures. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course will survey some of the major historical, cultural, intellectual and social developments among Jews from the fourth century CE through the fifteenth. We will study Jewish cultures from the Christianization of the Roman Empire, the age of the Talmuds, the rise of Islam, the world of the Geniza, medieval Spain, to the early modern period. We will look at a rich variety of primary texts and images, including mosaics, poems, prayers, polemics, and personal letters. Field(s): JEW/MED 

Spring 2019: HIST UN2657
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2657 001/23173 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Elisheva Carlebach 4 65/85

HIST UN2701 Ottoman Empire. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course will cover the seven-century long history of the Ottoman Empire, which spanned Europe, Asia, and Africa as well as the medieval, early modern, and modern period. The many levels of continuity and change will be the focus, as will issues of identities and mentalities, confessional diversity, cultural and linguistic pluralism, and imperial governance and political belonging of the empire within larger regional and global perspectives over the centuries. The course also seeks to cultivate appreciation of the human experience through the multifarious experiences culled from the Ottoman past. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN2701
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2701 001/68445 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
633 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Tunc Sen 4 38/50

HIST UN2881 Vietnam in the World. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This lecture course examines the history of Vietnam in the World. This course explores how war – ranging from civil, imperial, global, decolonization, and superpower interventions – have shaped the course of modern Vietnamese history and its interaction with the wider world. Participation in weekly discussion sections, which will begin no later than the third week of classes, is mandatory.

Spring 2019: HIST UN2881
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2881 001/19229 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
633 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 34/60

HIST UN3009 Cities and Slavery in the Atlantic World. 4 points.

Although African slavery in the Americas is most often associated with rural life and agricultural production, cities were crucial sites in the history of slavery. This undergraduate seminar explores the intertwined histories of urbanization and slavery in the Atlantic world from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.


Readings and discussions will touch on slavery’s impact on such European centers as Nantes, Liverpool, London, and Seville and on African cities but will concentrate on the “New World,” eventually coming to focus on the places where slavery lasted long enough to intersect with the beginnings of urban modernity and industrialization: Cuba and especially Brazil. We will end the semester reading and reflecting on the lasting legacies of African slavery in the cities of the Atlantic world after abolition, considering both slavery’s memorialization on and erasure from the urban landscape.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3009
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3009 001/77398 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Amy Chazkel 4 12/15

HIST UN3011 The Second World War. 4 points.

This course surveys some of the major historiographical debates surrounding the Second World War. It aims to provide student with an international perspective of the conflict that challenges conventional understandings of the war. In particular, we will examine the ideological, imperial, and strategic dimensions of the war in a global context. Students will also design, research, and write a substantial essay of 15-18 pages in length that makes use of both primary and secondary sources.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3011 001/11346 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4 14/15
Fall 2019: HIST UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3011 001/36474 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4 15/15

HIST UN3012 Uganda in the mission archive: African voices and colonial documents. 4 points.

This course introduces students to researching and writing African colonial history with a specific focus on Uganda. Students will be guided through the missionary sources available at Columbia and we will discuss how African voices can and cannot be found in these archives. At the end of the semester students will have produced an original primary source paper on Ugandan history.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3012
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3012 001/89534 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Rhiannon Stephens 4 3/15

HIST UN3018 Early American Autobiography as History: Testimony, Adventure, Confession. 4 points.

Early American history is rich with stories of self, though most of these stories' tellers would not have called themselves "autobiographers." In this undergraduate seminar, we will read all kinds of personal narratives: political memoirs, courtroom confessions, salesmen's yarns, racy songs, and religious revelations. We will immerse ourselves in the narrators' perspectives, discovering how they experienced the world, what they thought was important to tell their readers, and who they thought they really were. We will read historical scholarship in order to place these personal narratives in broader context, but we will not assume that historians know all the answers. Instead, as we read, we will pay close attention to the ways in which personal narratives continue to defy historical interpretation.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3018
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3018 001/75798 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
405 Kent Hall
Hannah Farber 4 7/14

HIST UN3030 Immigration and Citizenship in American History. 4 points.

This course explores the meaning of American citizenship in connection with the country’s immigration history. Topics include historic pathways to citizenship for migrants; barriers to citizenship including wealth, race, gender, beliefs and documentation; and critical issues such as colonialism, statelessness, dual nationality, and birthright citizenship. We will ask how have people become citizens and under what authority has that citizenship been granted? What are the historic barriers to citizenship and how have they shifted over time? What major questions remain unanswered by Congress and the Supreme Court regarding the rights of migrants to attain and retain American citizenship?

Spring 2019: HIST UN3030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3030 001/62196 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Jessica Lee 4 14/15

HIST UN3225 ASIATIC RUS:EMPIRE & STATE. 4 points.

The aim of this course is to provide students with a fresh perspective on the concept of Eurasia originating in imperial Russian intellectual history. The course sets out to highlight the impact of nomadic political cultures on shaping the operation of Russian imperial policies and practices and their legacies, a perspective that is typically not represented in Eurasian and Russian history courses as a major idea of analysis. The course’s focus therefore will be on the spread of Russian rule over Eurasia’s steppe regions and Turkestan. Among other things, the course explores how the interplay of the nomadic concepts of sovereignty and territoriality enabled the rise of the Russian empire. Beyond ethnic and cultural history special attention will be devoted to economic and military history, as well as political institutions and diplomacy. We will also look at the ways in which the concept of Eurasia continued to inspire Soviet and post-Soviet politicians and other related groups to construct and reconstruct boundaries between East and West. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN3225
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3225 001/11035 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Gulnar Kendirbai 4 13/15

HIST UN3357 History of the Self. 4 points.

This course is one of a series on the history of the modern self. The works of Montaigne, Pascal, Rousseau, Tocqueville, or another Enlightenment thinker are critically examined in a seminar setting.


Fall 2017 the topic is Tocqueville.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3357
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3357 001/63080 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Mark Lilla 4 13/15

HIST UN3429 Telling About the South. 4 points.

A remarkable array of Southern historians, novelists, and essayists have done what Shreve McCannon urges Quentin Compson to do in William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!--tell about the South--producing recognized masterpieces of American literature.  Taking as examples certain writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, this course explores the issues they confronted, the relationship between time during which and about they wrote, and the art of the written word as exemplified in their work. Group(s): D Field(s): US  Limited enrollment. Priority given to senior history majors. After obtaining permission from the professor, please add yourself to the course wait list so the department can register you in the course.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3429
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3429 001/72832 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Barbara Fields 4 14/15

HIST UN3436 Stalinist Civilization. 4 points.

This course is dedicated to understanding one of the most paradoxical and deadly periods of history – the years of Stalin’s rule of the Soviet Union. Stalinism came to encompass massive losses of human life alongside unprecedented growth in education and modernization in the space of the Soviet Union. Bolshevik policies destroyed whole peoples’ ways of life, but also defeated fascism. Individuals could rise high in society or be destroyed at the whim of a bureaucrat. Over the semester, we will explore this society, the people who comprised it and the dramatic changes they lived through. We will touch on major events in the political history of the Soviet Union, but its primary focus is on how people experienced life under Stalin.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3436
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3436 001/82283 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Brandon Schechter 4 13/15

HIST UN3437 Poisoned Worlds: Corporate Behavior and Public Health. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

In the decades since the publication of Silent Spring and the rise of the environmental movement, public awareness of the impact of industrial products on human health has grown enormously. There is growing concern over BPA, lead, PCBs, asbestos, and synthetic materials that make up the world around us. This course will focus on environmental history, industrial and labor history as well as on how twentieth century consumer culture shapes popular and professional understanding of disease. Throughout the term the class will trace the historical transformation of the origins of disease through primary sources such as documents gathered in lawsuits, and medical and public health literature. Students will be asked to evaluate historical debates about the causes of modern epidemics of cancer, heart disease, lead poisoning, asbestos-related illnesses and other chronic conditions. They will also consider where responsibility for these new concerns lies, particularly as they have emerged in law suits. Together, we will explore the rise of modern environmental movement in the last 75 years. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN3437
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3437 001/62487 T 8:30am - 11:20am
923 Rosenfield Building
David Rosner 4 6/10

HIST UN3518 Columbia and Slavery. 4 points.

In this course, students will write original, independent papers of around 25 pages, based on research in both primary and secondary sources, on an aspect of the relationship between Columbia College and its colonial predecessor King's College, with the institution of slavery.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3518
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3518 001/64495 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Thai Jones 4 13/15

HIST UN3644 Modern Jewish Intellectual History. 4 points.

This course analyzes Jewish intellectual history from Spinoza to 1939. It tracks the radical transformation that modernity yielded in Jewish life, both in the development of new, self-consciously modern, iterations of Judaism and Jewishness and in the more elusive but equally foundational changes in "traditional" Judaisms. Questions to be addressed include: the development of the modern concept of "religion" and its effect on the Jews; the origin of the notion of "Judaism" parallel to Christianity, Islam, etc.; the rise of Jewish secularism and of secular Jewish ideologies, especially the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah), modern Jewish nationalism, Zionism, Jewish socialism, and Autonomism; the rise of Reform, Modern Orthodox, and Conservative Judaisms; Jewish neo-Romanticism and neo-Kantianism, and Ultra-Orthodoxy.

Spring 2019: HIST UN3644
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3644 001/62200 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Michael Stanislawski 4 17/25

HIST UN3756 Political Animals: Humans, Animals and Nature in Modern European History. 4 points.

This course is a discussion-base seminar set to explore human-animal relations in Modern European History, from the French revolution to the present. It seeks to provide students with methodologies to reflect on history of the politics and environment: how might we study "the state" and modern politics in general as frameworks that organize not only the relationships between humans, but also the relationship between the human and non-human world? What can we learn about politics, modernity and historical shifts if we do not ignore the non-human factors that shape history? The course incorporates historical scholarship and primary sources, and introduces students to pivotal political moments in European history from the perspective of human-animal relations and environmental history. Students are evaluated on their participation in seminar, one short essay and a final research project on a topic of their choosing. No prerequisites.

HIST UN3779 Africa and France. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Prerequisites: reading knowledge of French is highly encouraged.

This course endeavors to understand the development of the peculiar and historically conflictual relationship that exists between France, the nation-states that are its former African colonies, and other contemporary African states. It covers the period from the 19th century colonial expansion through the current ‘memory wars’ in French politics and debates over migration and colonial history in Africa. Historical episodes include French participation in and eventual withdrawal from the Atlantic Slave Trade, emancipation in the French possessions, colonial conquest, African participation in the world wars, the wars of decolonization, and French-African relations in the contexts of immigration and the construction of the European Union. Readings will be drawn extensively from primary accounts by African and French intellectuals, dissidents, and colonial administrators. However, the course offers neither a collective biography of the compelling intellectuals who have emerged from this relationship nor a survey of French-African literary or cultural production nor a course in international relations. Indeed, the course avoids the common emphasis in francophone studies on literary production and the experiences of elites and the common focus of international relations on states and bureaucrats. The focus throughout the course is on the historical development of fields of political possibility and the emphasis is on sub-Saharan Africa. Group(s): B, C Field(s): AFR, MEU

Spring 2019: HIST UN3779
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3779 001/26541 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Gregory Mann 4 15/15

HIST UN3839 Senior Thesis Seminar. 4 points.

A year-long course for outstanding senior majors who want to conduct research in primary sources on a topic of their choice in any aspect of history, and to write a senior thesis possibly leading toward departmental honors. Field(s): ALL

Spring 2019: HIST UN3839
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3839 001/15016 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
415 Schapiro Cepser
Anna Danziger Halperin 4 10/12
HIST 3839 002/66771 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
511a Journalism Building
Charly Coleman 4 9/12
HIST 3839 003/62549 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
222 Pupin Laboratories
Elizabeth Blackmar 4 12/12
HIST 3839 004/62145 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
201 80 Claremont
Malgorzata Mazurek 4 11/12

HIST UN3866 Wars for Indochina. 4 points.

This seminar will focus on the wars that ravaged Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos – the region often referred to as “Indochina” – in the latter half of the 20th Century.  This period in Indochinese history witnessed batttles for decolonization, revolutionary struggles, state and nation-building under the Cold War divide, superpower interventions, and fighting at the local, regional and global levels. Introducing students to the current debates in the field, students will become familiar with the rich historiography on this subject. In addition to weekly readings and discussions, students will write a research paper, based on a deep understanding of the secondary literature as well as a thorough analysis of primary sources. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN3866
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3866 001/14163 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 8/15

HIST UN3928 Comparative Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World. 4 points.

Prerequisites: seminar application required. SEE UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR SECTION OF THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE.

This seminar investigates the experiences of slavery and freedom among African-descended people living and laboring in the various parts of the Atlantic World. The course will trace critical aspects of these two major, interconnected historical phenomena with an eye to how specific cases either manifested or troubled broader trends across various slaveholding societies. The first half of the course addresses the history of slavery and the second half pertains to experiences in emancipation. However, since the abolition of slavery occurs at different moments in various areas of the Atlantic World, the course will adhere to a thematic rather than a chronological structure, in its examination of the multiple avenues to freedom available in various regions. Weekly units will approach major themes relevant to both slavery and emancipation, such as racial epistemologies among slaveowners/employers, labor regimes in slave and free societies, cultural innovations among slave and freed communities, gendered discourses and sexual relations within slave and free communities, and slaves’ and freepeople’s resistance to domination. The goal of this course is to broaden students’ comprehension of the history of slavery and freedom, and to promote an understanding of the transition from slavery to freedom in the Americas as creating both continuities and ruptures in the structure and practices of the various societies concerned. 

HIST UN3962 Technology, Work, and Capitalism: A History. 4 points.

In recent years, public conversations about the relationship between technology and work seem to have been conducted with particular fervor: claims of revolutionary ease and freedom sit side-by-side with dystopian visions of exploitation, surveillance, and growing alienation.  Will technological development lead to widespread deskilling or a new "sharing economy"?  Will it enrich the few at the expense of the many or bring general prosperity?  Are Uber, Etsy, and Amazon vanguards of an ideal future or harbingers of doom?

HIST GU4012 History of the City in Latin America. 4 points.

This course covers the historical development of cities in Latin America. Readings examine the concentration of people in commercial and political centers from the beginnings of European colonization in the sixteenth century to the present day and will introduce contrasting approaches to the study of urban culture, politics, society, and the built environment. Central themes include the reciprocal relationships between growing urban areas and the countryside; cities as sites of imperial power and their post-colonial role in nation-building; changing power dynamics in modern Latin America, especially as they impacted the lives of cities’ nonelite majority populations; the legalities and politics of urban space; the complexity and historical development of urban segregation; the rise of informal economies; and the constant tension between tradition and progress through which urban societies have formed. Reading knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese will be helpful but is not required. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students; graduate students will be given additional reading and writing assignments.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4012
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4012 001/78496 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Amy Chazkel 4 16/15

HIST GU4028 Postwars and Reconstructions: The U.S. Civil War in Comparative Perspective. 4 points.

Prerequisites: NONE, but HIST 2432 recommended for undergraduates.

This course attempts to see what can be gained by working across the usual field designations of time and space to identify perseverant challenges posed in, and faced by, societies during and after civil wars.  Casting a large net from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1970s it looks at the process of waging civil wars and the challenges of making peace and rebuilding in the aftermath.  The course is organized chronologically and thematically.  This year it focuses on four main themes:  Occupations and Political Reconstructions; Reconstructing Lives; Vengeance and Justice; Memory and History.  The reading list includes readings on the American Civil War, the Irish Civil War, the Spanish Civil War and the Algerian War. 

Spring 2019: HIST GU4028
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4028 001/61032 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Stephanie McCurry 4 16/15

HIST GU4029 Europe’s Commercial Revolution, ca 1100-1800: Economic, Social, and Cultural Change . 4 points.

This course examines the profound changes wrought by the explosive growth of the European market economy during the late medieval and early modern centuries. Readings will be drawn both from theoretical literature examining the market and from studies documenting the practices of commercial people, the institutions that organized trade (guilds, merchant associations, law, and the nascent states of the period), and the cultural responses to commercial wealth.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4029
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4029 001/13535 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Martha Howell 4 13/15

HIST GU4031 Transforming Texts: Textual Analysis, Literary Modeling, and Visualization . 4 points.

Designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the social sciences, humanities, and computer science, this hybrid course is situated at the crossroads of historical exploration and computer sciences. Students will be exposed to digital literacy tools and computational skills through the lens of the Making and Knowing Project. The edition will draw on collaboration with and research done by the Making and Knowing Project http://www.makingandknowing.org/ on an anonymous 16th-century French compilation of artistic and technical recipes (BnF Ms. Fr. 640). Students will work from the encoded English translation of the manuscript, prepared by the Spring 2017 course “HIST GR8975 What is a Book in the 21st Century? Working with Historical Texts in a Digital Environment.” This course will also utilize the concepts and prototypes developed by computer science students in the Spring 2018 “COMS W4172: 3D User Interfaces and Augmented Reality (AR). The skills students will learn over the course of the semester are widely applicable to other types of Digital Humanities projects, and indeed, in many fields outside of traditional academic study.


For the final project, students will collaborate to investigate linguistic features of Ms. Fr. 640 using natural language processing and text mining techniques. These projects will shed light on topics of interest within the manuscript and uncover connections within the textual data. By using the tools prototypes in a Spring 2018 COMS W4172 course, and working alongside computer science students, the groups will learn to adapt and recode data sets, and to view them into a variety of visualizations.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4031
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4031 001/68443 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Dennis Tenen, Pamela Smith 4 17/20

HIST GU4036 Displacement in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. 4 points.

This course examines displacement and ethnic cleansing in the modern Middle East and Eastern Europe. Students will explore various ideologies that underpinned mass violence, starting with forced migrations of Jews and Muslims out of Imperial Russia, through the Armenian Genocide, to interwar refugee crises in the Middle East and Stalin’s deportations. The course focuses on the Ottoman and Russian empires and their post-World War I successor nation-states. It examines the evolution of contemporary ideas about ethnic cleansing, refugees, humanitarianism, and population transfers.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4036
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4036 001/11747 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky 4 10/15

HIST GU4037 Russian History on Trial. 4 points.

An exploration of Russian and Soviet history through criminal trials from the early 19th Century through the end of the Soviet Union focusing on continuities throughout radically different time periods. Highlights major themes of gender, nationality, revolutionary movements, violence, ideology, and memory as they were reflected in the administration of justice.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4037
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4037 001/84781 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Rhiannon Dowling 4 10/15

HIST GU4038 The Black Radical Tradition in America. 4 points.

Throughout the history of the United States, African Americans have offered alternative visions of the nation's future and alternative definitions of national progress. Not limited to reforming the worst social ills, these discourses have called for a fundamental restructuring of our political, economic, and social relations. This class examines the continuities of that radical tradition.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4038
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4038 001/67549 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Craig Wilder 4 17/20

HIST GU4039 The Iranian Revolution. 4 points.

This seminar examines the global contest between the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and his opponents in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, culminating in the toppling of the Pahlavi monarchy in the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79. The seminar is primarily concerned with the competition between the Shah and his opponents to embody Iranian nationalism in a global era characterized by decolonization and the Cold War. One particular focus of the seminar will be the place of America and Americans in the Iranian Revolution. As such, the seminar offers a political, intellectual, and international history of the origins of the Iranian Revolution.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4039
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4039 001/26032 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
405 Kent Hall
Roham Alvandi 4 12/15

HIST GU4041 Between the Second World War and the Cold War: Europe 1943-1950. 4 points.

This course introduces students to some of the major themes of postwar reconstruction in Europe, between the end of World War II to the advent of the Cold War. This is a crucial turning-point in contemporary European history, yet its nature varies dramatically in different parts of Europe, while it also leads to a fundamental restructuring of the political, social and economic, and cultural relations in Europe as a whole. This period is therefore studied from a comparative as well as a transnational perspective. Students will acquire insight in the main historical events and processes, the historiographical debates on this period, relevant primary sources, and methods for studying contemporary history.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4041
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4041 001/95897 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
109 Hartley Hall
Ido de Haan 4 9/15

HIST GU4223 Personality and Society in 19th-Century Russia. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

A seminar reviewing some of the major works of Russian thought, literature, and memoir literature that trace the emergence of intelligentsia ideologies in 19th- and 20th-century Russia. Focuses on discussion of specific texts and traces the adoption and influence of certain western doctrines in Russia, such as idealism, positivism, utopian socialism, Marxism, and various 20th-century currents of thought. Field(s): MEU

Spring 2019: HIST GU4223
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4223 001/18230 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
1219 International Affairs Bldg
Richard Wortman 4 13/18

HIST GU4231 Eastern Europe’s Cold War . 4 points.

This seminar explores the Cold War's impact on Eastern Europe (1940s-1980s) and Eastern Europe's Cold War-era engagements with the wider world. We will address the methodologies used by historians to answer questions like these: What was the Cold War? What did it mean, and for whom? We will also look at the Cold War as something more than a series of events; we will consider its value, uses, and limits as a device for framing the second half of the twentieth century.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4231
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4231 001/83498 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Elidor Mehilli 4 12/15
Fall 2019: HIST GU4231
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4231 001/14019 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Elidor Mehilli 4 16/17

HIST GU4509 Problems in International History. 4 points.

The general object of this course is to illuminate how histories of the realm we think of as "international" are structured by means of key concepts, foundational concepts that form semantic fields of politics and policy. The seminar will chiefly be devoted empirically to some ways of think of this in the context of what is now being called the subfield of ‘the U.S. in the World,’ with a particular emphasis on the issue of ‘empire’ and its connotations.There will also be a conceptual/theoretical interlude: the work of two figures outside the conventional parameters in this regard, Carl Schmitt and Michel Foucault.  

Spring 2019: HIST GU4509
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4509 001/65549 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Anders Stephanson 4 11/15

HIST GU4588 Substance Abuse Politics in African-American History. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Through a series of secondary- and primary-source readings and research writing assignments, students in this seminar course will explore one of the most politically controversial aspects in the history of public health in the United States as it has affected peoples of color: intoxicating substances. Course readings are primarily historical, but sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists are also represented on the syllabus. The course's temporal focus - the twentieth century - allows us to explore the historical political and social configurations of opium, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, medical maintenance (methadone), the War on Drugs, the carceral state and hyperpolicing, harm reduction and needle/syringe exchange. This semester's principal focus will be on the origins and evolution of the set of theories, philosophies, and practices which constitute harm reduction. The International Harm Reduction Association/Harm Reduction International offers a basic, though not entirely comprehensive, definition of harm reduction in its statement, "What is Harm Reduction?" (http://www.ihra.net/what-is-harm-reduction): "Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of psychoactive drugs in people unable or unwilling to stop. The defining features are the focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of drug use itself, and the focus on people who continue to use drugs."[1] Harm reduction in many U.S. communities of color, however, has come to connote a much wider range of activity and challenges to the status quo. In this course we will explore the development of harm reduction in the United States and trace its evolution in the political and economic context race, urban neoliberalism, and no-tolerance drug war. The course will feature site visits to harm reduction organizations in New York City, guest lectures, and research/oral history analysis. This course has been approved for inclusion in both the African-American Studies and History undergraduate curricula (majors and concentrators). HIST W4588 will be open to both undergraduate and masters students. To apply, please complete the Google form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xaPFhQOzkl1NHnIjQIen9h41iel2hXAdhV59D5wH8AQ/viewform?usp=send_form. Questions may be directed to skroberts@columbia.edu.  

Spring 2019: HIST GU4588
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4588 001/63866 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
411 Fayerweather
Samuel Roberts 4 11/15
Fall 2019: HIST GU4588
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4588 001/36506 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Samuel Roberts 4 16/22

HIST GU4713 Orientalism and the Historiography of the Other. 4 points.

This course will examine some of the problems inherent in Western historical writing on non-European cultures, as well as broad questions of what itmeans to write history across cultures. The course will touch on therelationship between knowledge and power, given that much of the knowledge we will be considering was produced at a time of the expansion of Western power over the rest of the world. By comparing some of the "others" which European historians constructed in the different non-western societies they depicted, and the ways other societies dealt with alterity and self, we may be able to derive a better sense of how the Western sense of self was constructed. Group(s): C Field(s): ME

Spring 2019: HIST GU4713
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4713 001/14969 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Rashid Khalidi 4 15/18

HIST GU4717 History of Feminism in Mexico. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Ability to read historical work and sources in Spanish.

The course presents a history of feminism in Mexico. It addresses the connections of feminism with mainstream Mexican history and with similar process in other Latin American during the twentieth century. Unlike many approaches to the history of feminism, this course explores both feminist and antifeminist interventions and analyzes how advocates and opponents of feminism have exerted influence on state and institution formation, on revolutions and social movements, on policies and legislative reforms and on nationalism. The readings include historical works as well as  sources such as archival materials, newspapers, photographs and pamphlets. An effort has been made to include materials in English, however some of the readings are in Spanish language, therefore it is required that the students are able to understand historical accounts and sources.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4717
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4717 001/20998 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Gabriela Cano 4 9/15

HIST GU4801 Gender and Women in Islam: South Asia & Middle East. 4 points.

This course will examine various roles that a religion can play in shaping its believers’ socio-political and religious identities on the basis of their natural/social differences i.e. sex and gender. Further, an attempt will be made to search for historical explanations through the lens of class, rural/urban economies and geo-ethnic diversities which have shaped gender relations and women’s status in various Muslim countries. The main focus of the course will be on Islam and its role in the articulation of gendered identities, the construction of their socio-religious images, and historical explanation of their roles, rights and status in the regions of South Asia and Middle East since 1900. The central argument of the course is that, for historical understanding of a set of beliefs and practices regarding gender relations and women’s status in any religious group, one needs to examine the historical context and socio-economic basis of that particular religion. By using the notion of gender and historical feminist discourses as tools of analysis, this course intends to understand and explain existing perceptions, misperceptions, myths and realities regarding gender relations and Muslim women’s situations in the distant and immediate past. This course begins with a historical materialist explanation of the religion of Islam and examines men & women’s roles, rights and responsibilities as described in the religious texts, interpretations, traditions and historical sources such as the Quran, Hadith, Sunnah and Sharia.  It will further attempt to study these issues by situating them in histories of local and regional diversities (i.e. South Asia, Middle East). A historical perspective will facilitate students’ understanding of male and female Muslim scholars’ ventures to re/read and re/explain the Islamic texts in modern contexts of South Asia and the Middle East.

Spring 2019: HIST GU4801
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4801 001/84030 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Tahira Khan 4 9/20

HIST GU4925 The Body in Global Histories of Medicine. 4 points.

The body is an unstable object. It leaks, bleeds, swells, mutates. It is also historically unstable, in the way it is understood and represented by men and women, patients and practitioners, scholars and laypeople. This course explores cases of the volatile body across historical and geopolitical contexts. By comparing how different people understand and inhabit the body, you will develop new research questions to rethink what it means to study the body at all.  Each week takes on different themes of practice, process, classification, ontology, technology, techniques, and theory to offer new genealogies of reading the body. While the body is not a universal entity across time and space, similarities still emerge. What role can history play in conceptualizing emerging fields of “global” studies?

Spring 2019: HIST GU4925
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4925 001/25508 F 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Lan Li 4 12/15

2019-2020 Cross-listed Courses

PLEASE READ: The passage below lists *all* sections being offered by a Columbia instructor for a given course, including sections which *do not* count for History students. NOT ALL sections of the courses listed below count for History majors and concentrators. Particular sections only count towards the History degree if the section instructor is a History faculty member or an affiliate with the History Department. For additional information, please review the "Requirements" tab or consult Sia Mensah at sjm2206@columbia.edu. All courses from the Barnard History Department also count towards the History degree.


AFCV UN1020 African Civilizations. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course provides a general introduction to some of the key intellectual debates in Africa by Africans through primary sources, including scholarly works, political tracts, fiction, art, and film. Beginning with an exploration of African notions of spiritual and philosophical uniqueness and ending with contemporary debates on the meaning and historical viability of an African Renaissance, this course explores the meanings of ‘Africa' and ‘being African.' Field(s): AFR*.  NO FIRST YEAR STUDENTS PERMITTED.

Spring 2019: AFCV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFCV 1020 001/29747 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
415 Schapiro Cepser
James Purcell 4 12/22
AFCV 1020 002/21012 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
337 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Elleni Zeleke 4 16/22
Fall 2019: AFCV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFCV 1020 001/13534 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Elleni Zeleke 4 6/22

LACV UN1020 Primary Texts of Latin American Civilization. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

It focuses on key texts from Latin America in their historical and intellectual context and seeks to understand their structure and the practical purposes they served using close reading and, when possible, translations.  The course seeks to establish a counterpoint to the list of canonical texts of Contemporary Civilization. The selections are not intended to be compared directly to those in CC but to raise questions about the different contexts in which ideas are used, the critical exchanges and influences (within and beyond Latin America) that shaped ideas in the region, and the long-term intellectual, political, and cultural pursuits that have defined Latin American history. The active engagement of students toward these texts is the most important aspect of class work and assignments.  NO FIRST YEAR STUDENTS PERMITTED.

Spring 2019: LACV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
LACV 1020 001/72633 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
834 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Alastair Ager, David Colmenares Gonzalez 4 12/22
Fall 2019: LACV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
LACV 1020 001/13533 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
A36 Union Theological Seminary
Yung Hua Ng Tam 4 8/22
LACV 1020 002/14928 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Fernando Montero 4 8/22

ASCE UN1361 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Japan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371

A survey of important events and individuals, prominent literary and artistic works, and recurring themes in the history of Japan, from prehistory to the 20th century.

Spring 2019: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/16983 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
310 Fayerweather
Gregory Pflugfelder 4 70/90
Fall 2019: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/44438 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
310 Fayerweather
David Lurie 4 74/90

HSME UN2915 Africa Before Colonialism: From Prehistory to the Birth of the Atlantic World. 4 points.

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the precolonial history of the African continent. It investigates in-depth the political, social, cultural and economic developments of different Africa communities, covering various regions and periods, from prehistory to the formation of the Indian Ocean and Atlantic worlds. Its focus is the intersection of politics, economics, culture and society. Using world history and Africa’s location in the production of history as key analytical frames, it pays special attention to social, political and cultural changes that shaped the various individual and collective experiences of African peoples and states and the historical discourses associated to them.

Fall 2019: HSME UN2915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSME 2915 001/41063 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
103 Knox Hall
Mamadou Diouf 4 14/30

CSER UN3928 Colonization/Decolonization. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission.

This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents.

Spring 2019: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/18445 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Theodore Hughes 4 16/22
Fall 2019: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/57875 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4 19/22

HSEA GU4725 Tibetan Visual & Material History. 4 points.

Prerequisites: one page applications stating a student's interest and background (if any).

How do Tibetan Buddhists look at religious images? What do pilgrims see when faced with sacred monuments? This seminar will explore the ubiquitous role of images and imagining in the religious traditions of Tibet. Historians of material culture argue that restricting our studies to textual sources limits our ability to understand the past experiences of the majority of people. They have developed methods and theories for "reading" objects to access the past. One of the most important techniques for this approach is the writing of "object biographies," which will play an important role in this course. Readings and viewings will examine the painting, sculpture, architecture, and performing arts of the Tibet, placing them in the context of local religious beliefs, ritual practices, and literary canons. The seminar aims to understand how Tibetan culture produce images and materials and the ways of seeing that invest them with meaning. Classes will address specific modes of visual representation, the relationships between text and image, the social lives of images, as well as processes of reading and interpretation. Later sections will survey broader visual representations of the Himalaya, both as self-reflections and in the imagination of the western gaze.

HSEA GU4847 Modern Japan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Not offered during 2019-20 academic year.

This course explores the history of Japan between 1800 and the present, with a particular focus on the 20th century. The course draws upon a combination of primary source materials (political documents, memoirs, oral histories, journalism, fiction, film) and scholarly writings in order to gain insight into the complex and tumultuous process by which Japan became an industrialized society, a modern nation-state, and a world power.

Spring 2019: HSEA GU4847
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4847 001/21912 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
624 Kent Hall
Paul Kreitman 4 12/25

HSEA GU4880 History of Modern China I. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

China’s transformation under its last imperial rulers, with special emphasis on economic, legal, political, and cultural change.

Fall 2019: HSEA GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4880 001/44472 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
413 Kent Hall
Madeleine Zelin 3 45/60

HSEA GU4881 History of Modern China II. 3 points.

The social and cultural history of Chinese religion from the earliest dynasties to the present day, examined through reading of primary Chinese religious documents (in translation) as well as the work of historians and anthropologists. Topics include: Ancestor worship and its changing place in Chinese religion;  the rise of clergies and salvationist religion; state power, clerical power, and lay power; Neo-Confucianism as secular religion; and the modern "popular religious" synthesis.