History

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Adam Tooze, 421 Fayerweather; at3058@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
  • Alan Brinkley
  • 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
  • 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

  • Tarik Amar
  • Lisbeth Kim Brandt (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Paul Chamberlin 
  • Malgorzata Mazurek
  • Gregory Pflugfelder (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Caterina Pizzigoni
  • Anupama Rao (Barnard)
  • Samuel Roberts
  • Neslihan Senocak
  • Rhiannon Stephens
  • Carl Wennerlind (Barnard)
  •  

Assistant Professors

  • Manan Ahmed
  • Gergely Baics
  • Charly Coleman
  • Elizabeth Esch (Barnard)
  • Hannah Farber
  • Andrew Lipman (Barnard)
  • Gulnar Kendirbai (Visiting)
  • A. Tunç Şen
  • Gray Tuttle (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Emma Winter
  •  

Lecturers in Discipline

  • Emily Jones (2017-2018)
  • Victoria Phillips (2017-2018)
  • Sophie Pitman (2017-2018)
  • Tillman Taape (2017-2018)
  • Tianna Uchacz (2017-2018)
  •  
  •  

On Leave

  • Profs. Coleman, Howell, Mazurek, Ngai, Piccato, Roberts (2017-2018)
  • Profs. de Grazia, Jones, Stephanson (Fall 2017)
  • Profs. Chauncey, Gluck, Guridy, Jackson, Khalidi, Smith (Spring 2018)

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 2018 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 2018: HIST UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1010 001/70703 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
313 Fayerweather
Richard Billows 4 68/75

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.

Fall 2018: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/26580 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Paul Kreitman 4 84/90
Spring 2019: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/16983 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Gregory Pflugfelder 4 90/90

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 2018: HIST UN2112
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2112 001/63154 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
313 Fayerweather
Matthew Jones 4 17/75

HIST UN2305 War in Germany 1618-2018. 4 points.

For much of modern history Germany was Europe’s battlefield. Its soldiers wrote themselves into the annals of military history. But it was also a place where war was discussed, conceptualized and criticized with unparalleled vigor. Nowhere did the extreme violence of the seventeenth century and the early twentieth century leave a deeper mark than on Germany. Today, as we enter the twenty-first century, Germany is the nation that has perhaps come closest to drawing a final, concluding line under its military history. This course will chart the rise and fall of modern militarism in Germany. For those interested in military history per se, this course will not hold back from discussing battles, soldiers and weapons. But it will also offer an introduction to German history more generally. And through the German example we will address questions in political philosophy that haunted modern European history and continue to haunt America today. How is state violence justified? How can it be regulated and controlled? What is its future?

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 2018: HIST UN2432
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2432 001/14200 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
312 Mathematics Building
Stephanie McCurry 4 61/105

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 2018: HIST UN2580
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2580 001/13029 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
602 Hamilton Hall
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 67/75

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 

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 2018: HIST UN2628
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2628 001/67470 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
417 Schermerhorn Hall
Michael Stanislawski 3 25/75

HIST UN2660 Latin American Civilization I. 4 points.

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

Latin American economy, society, and culture from pre-Columbian times to 1810. Global Core Approved.

Fall 2018: HIST UN2660
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2660 001/14386 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
Caterina Pizzigoni 4 117/120

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 2018: HIST UN2719
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2719 001/60061 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
417 International Affairs Bldg
Rashid Khalidi 4 174/200

HSWM UN2761 Gender and Sexuality in African History. 4 points.

This course examines the history of gender, sexuality and ways of identifying along these lines in Africa from early times through the twentieth century. It asks how gender and sexuality have shaped key historical developments, from African kingdoms and empires to postcolonial states, from colonial conquest to movements for independence, from indigenous healing practices to biomedicine, from slavery to the modern forms of work. It will also explore the history of different sexualities and gender identities on the continent. A key objective is to extend the historical study of gender and sexual identity in Africa beyond ‘women’s history’ to understand gender as encompassing all people in society and their relationships, whether domestic or public.

Fall 2018: HSWM UN2761
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSWM 2761 001/23318 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
417 Mathematics Building
Rhiannon Stephens 4 48/60

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 2018: HIST UN2772
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2772 001/67319 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
313 Fayerweather
Gregory Mann 3 45/75

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.

HIST UN2953 War and Society since 1945. 4 points.

This course surveys the second half of the most violent century in human history. It examines the intersection of war and human society in the years after 1945 by focusing on two monumental and intertwined historical processes: Decolonization and the Cold War. While the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union would fail to produce any general wars between two belligerents, this superpower rivalry would help to make the global process of decolonization in the developing a particularly violent affair.

Fall 2018: HIST UN2953
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2953 001/63004 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
313 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4 47/75

HSCL UN3000 The Persian Empire . 4 points.

This seminar studies the ancient Persian (Achaemenid) Empire which ruled the entire Middle East from the late 6th to the late 4th centuries BCE and was the first multi-ethnic empire in western Asian and Mediterranean history. We will investigate the empire using diverse sources, both textual and material, from the various constituent parts of the empire and study the different ways in which it interacted with its subject populations. This course is a seminar and students will be asked to submit a research paper at the end of the semester. Moreover, in each class meeting one student will present part of the readings.


Grading: participation (25%), class presentation (25%), paper (50%).

Fall 2018: HSCL UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSCL 3000 001/22346 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Marc Van De Mieroop, John Ma 4 9/15

HIST UN3120 Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Early Modern Europe. 4 points.

In this course we will examine theoretical and historical developments that framed the notions of censorship and free expression in early modern Europe. In the last two decades, the role of censorship has become one of the significant elements in discussions of early modern culture. The history of printing and of the book, of the rise national-political cultures and their projections of control, religious wars and denominational schisms are some of the factors that intensified debate over the free circulation of ideas and speech. Indexes, Inquisition, Star Chamber, book burnings and beheadings have been the subjects of an ever growing body of scholarship. Field(s): EME

Fall 2018: HIST UN3120
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3120 001/76392 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Elisheva Carlebach 4 12/14

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 2018: HIST UN3335
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3335 001/18613 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
406 International Affairs Bldg
Kenneth Jackson 4 19/20

AMHS UN3462 Immigrant New York. 4 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

For the past century and a half, New York City has been the first home of millions of immigrants to the United States.  This course will compare immigrants' encounter with New York at the dawn of the twentieth century with contemporary issues, organizations, and debates shaping immigrant life in New York City.  As a service learning course, each student will be required to work 2-4 hours/week in the Riverside Language Center or programs for immigrants run by Community Impact. Field(s): US

Fall 2018: AMHS UN3462
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AMHS 3462 001/21326 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Rebecca Kobrin 4 12/15

TBD UN3504 Columbia 1968. 4 points.

This undergraduate seminar examines the social, political, and cultural transformations of the 1960s through the lens of local history. The course is centered on the student and community protests that took place at Columbia University and in Morningside Heights in 1968. Although the protest is one of the touchstone events from the year and the decade, reliable historical treatment is still lacking. This class encourages students to examine and recraft histories of the university and the surrounding community in this period. Modeled on the recently designed “Columbia and Slavery” course, this course is a public-facing seminar designed to empower students to open up a discussion of all the issues connected with the protests, its global, national, and local context, and its aftermath. The course aims to prompt fresh answers to old questions: What were the factors that led to the protests? How did the student and community mobilization shape, and were shaped by, national and international forces? What were the local, national, and international legacies of Columbia 1968?  This seminar is part of an on-going, multiyear effort to grapple with such questions and to share our findings with the Columbia community and beyond.  Working independently, students will define and pursue individual research projects.  Working together, the class will create digital visualizations of these projects.

HIST UN3593 Religion and Politics in Postwar America. 4 points.

This course is a survey history of the role that religion has played in the major political movements and events of the United States from 1945 to the present. We will explore how the historical analysis of religion in the postwar period affects our understanding of the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Equal Rights Amendment, the War on Terror, and on legal and policy debates over immigration, education, abortion, gay marriage, and the environment, among other issues. There are no prerequisites for the course, though basic knowledge of American twentieth century history is useful.

Fall 2018: HIST UN3593
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3593 001/77191 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Stephen Koeth 4 14/15

URBS UN3545 Junior Colloquium: The Shaping of the Modern City. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Non-majors admitted by permission of instructor. Students must attend first class. Enrollment limited to 16 students per section. General Education Requirement: Historical Studies.

Introduction to the historical process and social consequences of urban growth, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present.

Fall 2018: URBS UN3545
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
URBS 3545 001/01098 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
227 Milbank Hall
Mary Rocco 4 15/15
URBS 3545 002/09802 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
406 Barnard Hall
Alexandra Freidus 4 12/15
URBS 3545 003/03273 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
304 Hamilton Hall
Kathryn Yatrakis 4 12/15

HIST UN3601 Jews in the Later Roman Empire, 300-600 CE. 4 points.

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

This course will explore the background and examine some of the manifestations of the first Jewish cultural explosion after 70 CE. Among the topics discussed: the Late Roman state and the Jews, the rise of the synagogue, the redaction of the Palestinian Talmud and midrashim, the piyyut and the Hekhalot.

Fall 2018: HIST UN3601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3601 001/67647 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Seth Schwartz 4 9/15

HIST UN3769 Health and Healing in African History. 4 points.

This course charts the history of health and healing from, as far as is possible, a perspective interior to Africa. It explores changing practices and understandings of disease, etiology, healing and well-being from pre-colonial times through into the post-colonial. A major theme running throughout the course is the relationship between medicine, the body, power and social groups. This is balanced by an examination of the creative ways in which Africans have struggled to compose healthy communities, albeit with varied success, whether in the fifteenth century or the twenty-first. 

Fall 2018: HIST UN3769
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3769 001/72896 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Rhiannon Stephens 4 7/15

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 2018: HIST UN3838
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3838 001/72180 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Anna Danziger Halperin 4 12/12
HIST 3838 002/72644 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Charly Coleman 4 11/12
HIST 3838 003/14252 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Elizabeth Blackmar 4 12/12
HIST 3838 004/73747 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Malgorzata Mazurek 4 11/12

HIST UN3911 Medicine and Western Civilization. 4 points.

Priority given to majors and concentrators, seniors, and juniors, but other majors are welcome.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

This seminar seeks to analyze the ways by which medicine and culture combine to shape our values and traditions. To this end, it will examine notable literary, medical, and social texts from classical antiquity to the present.

Fall 2018: HIST UN3911
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3911 001/73694 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
David Rothman 4 19/20

HIST UN3972  THE GHETTO FROM VENICE TO HARLEM. 4 points.

This course is structured to provide each of you with an in-depth look at a modern institution of oppression: the ghetto. The readings examine ghettoization across a wide geographic area. The course runs (fairly) chronologically, beginning with the ghettoization of Jews in Medieval Europe and ending with the ghettoization of African Americans and Latinos in the twentieth century United States, but also exploring the expanding patterns of segregation in the modern urban world.

Fall 2018: HIST UN3972
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3972 001/18441 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Craig Wilder 4 16/17

HIST GU4010 The Roman World in Late Antiquity. 4 points.

This course explores the social history, cultural and economic history of the Roman Empire in late antiquity.  This period, from 284 to 642 AD, begins with the accession of Diocletian and ends with the Islamic conquest of Egypt.  The course focuses primarily on the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which presents a political unity absent from the western half of the Roman Empire and its successor states in the same period.  It will explore the decline of traditional (pagan) religions and the role of Christianity in this period.  The rise of monasticism; the role of Christian holy men; and the doctrinal disputes that caused internal rifts throughout the Christian world will require special attention.  The course will approach the social history of the city and the countryside through specific case studies: riots in Alexandria and peasant agency in Syria and Egypt.  The course will explore the poetry, rhetoric and philosophy that comprised an important part of elite culture in this period, and also attempt to use chariot racing and the circus factions to access the culture of the masses.  Exploration of economic history will focus on an emerging gap in the field’s historiography between materialists who see the period as one of rising oppression of the peasantry by a profit-driven elite on the one hand and papyrologists who see a risk-averse elite working alongside an entrepreneurial and growing middle class on the other hand.  The semester will close with a study in micro-history, the Roman Egyptian village of Aphrodito, its leading families and its agricultural working classes whose lives are recorded in the documentary papyri.

Fall 2018: HIST GU4010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4010 001/71492 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Giovanni Ruffini 4 14/15

HIST GU4214 The Era of Witness: Twentieth Century Poland in Personal Accounts. 4 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

The course explores the dramatically changing human landscape of modern Poland through personal narratives (diaries, letters, memoirs) and social documentation (autobiography contests, life-record method, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive in the Warsaw ghetto). The course serves as an introduction to key personal experiences of the Poland's twentieth century: social distress, emigration and forced dislocation, genocide, and political violence. We will reflect critically on the main categories of "the era of the witness," such as personal experience and literary responses to it, testimony, memory and eye-witnessing. The course aims to broaden, both historically and conceptually, our understanding of the witness as an iconic figure of the twentieth-century atrocities by including the East Central European tradition of personal writing and social documentation of the interwar and postwar periods. Field(s): MEU

Fall 2018: HIST GU4214
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4214 001/61496 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Malgorzata Mazurek 4 9/15

HIST GU4235 Central Asia: Imperial Legacies, New Images. 4 points.

This course is designed to give an overview of the politics and history of the five Central Asian states, including Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan starting from Russian imperial expansion to the present. We will examine the imperial tsarist and Soviet legacies that have profoundly reshaped the regional societies’ and governments’ practices and policies of Islam, gender, nation-state building, democratization, and economic development. Field(s): ME/EA

Fall 2018: HIST GU4235
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4235 001/21727 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Gulnar Kendirbai 4 10/15

HIST GU4240 The Cold War in Culture, Cultures of the Cold War. 4 points.

In this course we will read and discuss key contributions to a young and growing field, the history of culture in the Cold War, which includes the cultural history of the Cold War and the history of the cultural Cold War, closely related but analytically distinct categories.

HIST GU4253 Ukraine in New York. 4 points.

Ukraine in New York is a multidisciplinary exploration of the Ukrainian-American community in New York City from its beginning in the late 19th century to the present.  The course focuses on the history, demographics, economics, politics, religion, education, and culture of the community, devoting particular attention to the impact thereon of the New York setting, shifting attitudes towards American politics and culture and homeland politics and culture, the tensions encountered in navigating between American, Soviet Ukraine, and independent Ukraine...

Fall 2018: HIST GU4253
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4253 001/26863 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Alexander Motyl 4 4/15

HIST GU4285 Post-Stalinism: The Soviet Union and Its Successor Societies, 1953-2012. 4 points.

This class focuses on the history of the Soviet Union and Russia between the death of Stalin/the end of totalitarianism and the present. It spans the turning-point date of 1991 when the Soviet Union abolished itself and was replaced by successor states, the most important of which is Russia. Not ending Soviet history with 1991 and not beginning Russian history with it either, we will seek to understand continuities as well as change. We will also draw on a diverse set of texts (and movies), including history, political science, journalism, fiction, and memoirs, feature and documentary movies. Geographically weighted toward Russia (and not the other also important successor states), in terms of content, this class concentrates on politics and society, including, crucially, the economy. These concepts, however, will be understood broadly. To come to grips with key issues in Soviet and Russian history in the historically short period after Stalinist totalitarianism, we will have to pay close attention to not only our analytical categories, but also to the way in which the political and the social have been understood by Soviet and Russian contemporaries. The class will introduce students to crucial questions of Russia's recent past, present, and future: authoritarianism and democratization, the role of the state and that of society, reform and retrenchment, communism and capitalism, and, last but not least, the nature of authority and legitimacy. 

HIST GU4359 Dreaming of the Future in the 1820s: The Birth of Modernity. 4 points.

The purpose of this course is to explore the mental horizon of the 1820s through the works of professional revolutionaries, artists, poets and writers, as well as via recent historical and literary studies. The period marked the intellectual origins of modernity and many of our key organizing principles - the very idea of socialism, liberalism and communism for instance - originated then. Readings connect political transformations in Europe and across the globe to a new sense of time and speed, history, technology and economics. Field(s): MEU

Fall 2018: HIST GU4359
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4359 001/68533 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Mark Mazower 4 17/25

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.

Fall 2018: HIST GU4455
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4455 001/15499 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Mae Ngai 4 13/15

HIST GU4483 Military History and Policy. 4 points.

This seminar features extensive reading, multiple written assignments, and a term paper, as well as a likely trip to Gettsyburg.  It focuses on the Civil War and on World Wars I and II. Group(s): D Field(s): US

Fall 2018: HIST GU4483
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4483 001/89533 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Kenneth Jackson 4 20/18

HIST GU4573 American Radicalism. 4 points.

This seminar examines the history of the radical left in the United States from the Revolutionary era to the present.  Readings treat influential individuals, organizations, intellectual currents, and social movements on the left with an attention to their relationship to prevailing understandings of American citizenship, personal fulfillment and equality.  After exploring early forms of artisans´ and workingmen´s radicalism, as well as the antebellum abolitionist and women´s rights movement, we will focus on the development and the fate of the modern left--from the Populist, labor, anarchist, socialist, and Communist movements through the African-American freedom struggle, radical pacifism and the New Left of the 1960s, feminism, the religious left, union democracy movements and beyond. We will try to understand the aspirations and ideas, forms of organization and activism, relations to mainstream politics and state authority, successes and failures in each of these cases.

Fall 2018: HIST GU4573
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4573 001/17796 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Casey Blake 4 17/15

HIST GU4684 POPULAR REVOLTS IN 19TH CENTURY BRAZIL. 4 points.

For long scholars have been studying the rebellious movements that rattled Brazil after its Independence and during the so-called Regency period. The majority, though, devoted themselves to the understanding of the political and economical elites’ whom either took the lead in such occasions or whose interests were at stake, either by joining or fighting the rebels. Thus, no particular attention was generally paid to those who actually fought those battles, the poor free (native Americans included) and freed people that amassed the majority of the country’s population. Men and women that had their own demands and expectations, a population that not only took up arms, but occasionally also ended up leading the upheavals. If that is the case concerning rebellions that broke out during the First Reign and the Regency, historical accounts regarding upheavals that occurred from the 1850s on are even scarcer.


In the past decades, though, impressive new interpretations on popular revolts during the Empire have totally changed that scenario, enabling scholars in general to reappraise how the free and freed poor (either of Portuguese, African or Native American descent) and, of course, slaves (were they born in Africa or in Brazil) experienced changes, or continuities, brought by the country’s independence and the long process of State building.


In order to do so, multiple readings – whose authors address questions regarding the last decades of the 18th century or the final years of the Brazilian Empire (remembering that slavery was only abolished in 1888, roughly 18 months before the Republican coup) – shall enable students to further their knowledge regarding not only Brazilian History, but also specificities and interpretations (in time, space and social composition) of an array of different movements, were they insurrections, rebellions, seditions, riots and so on.

Fall 2018: HIST GU4684
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4684 001/86647 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
802 International Affairs Bldg
Monica Duarte Dantas 4 4/15

HIST GU4743 MANUSCRIPTS OF THE MUSLIM WORLD. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of a relevant research language (Arabic, Persian, or Ottoman Turkish) is required to be able to work on a particular manuscript to be chosen by the student. Students who lack the necessary skills of any of these languages but are interested in pre-modern book culture are still encouraged to contact the course instructor.

This course studies the material, textual, and institutional characteristics of the Islamic manuscript culture from the 9th to the 19th century and before the widespread adoption of print technology. The course will be run as a seminar with discussion of primary and secondary sources drawn from library and information science, history, area studies, and art history. One important component of the course will be the hands-on practice with select examples from the rich Islamic manuscript collection of the Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Concerning this firsthand experience, the course aims to contribute to the Manuscripts of the Muslim World project, a grant-funded initiative between Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. To this end, participants of this course will be expected to contribute to the generation of descriptive metadata for manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish from the collections of the Columbia University Libraries. 

Fall 2018: HIST GU4743
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4743 001/96046 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Tunc Sen 4 7/15

HSEA GU4860 Culture and Society of Choson Korea, 1392-1910. 3 points.

Major cultural, political, social, economic and literary issues in the history of this 500-year long period. Reading and discussion of primary texts (in translation) and major scholarly works. All readings will be in English.

Fall 2018: HSEA GU4860
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4860 001/20826 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
424 Pupin Laboratories
Jungwon Kim 3 17/20

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 2018: HSEA GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4880 001/29475 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
413 Kent Hall
Ulug Kuzuoglu 3 50/60

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.

Fall 2018: HSEA GU4881
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4881 001/26321 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Robert Hymes 3 10/20

HIST GU4961 Crime: Practices and Representations. 4 points.

This seminar is intended to introduce students to the study of crime from two perspectives: historical and cultural. On the one hand, the seminar will read introductory and representative texts on the history of crime, particularly in Europe and the Americas. Themes to be discussed include urbanization and cultural change on historical patterns of crime; transgression and punishment in the construction of collective identities; everyday relationship of urban populations with the law, the police, and the judiciary, and the gendered meanings of violence. Movies and literature will be used to discuss the themes, genres and explanations that characterize popular understandings of crime. These cultural products will be set in a dialogue with our historical knowledge of criminal practices.

Fall 2018: HIST GU4961
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4961 001/93630 M 4:10pm - 8:00pm
502 Northwest Corner
Pablo Piccato 4 12/15

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 4 215/320

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
Room TBA
Myles McDonnell 4 67/75

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
Room TBA
4 2/40

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
Room TBA
Mark Mazower 4 50/50

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
Room TBA
Sarah Mass 4 5/75

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
Room TBA
Charly Coleman 4 75/75

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
Room TBA
Elizabeth Blackmar 4 62/75

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 67/75

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
Room TBA
Barbara Fields 4 75/75

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 4 107/75

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
Room TBA
Tunc Sen 4 45/45

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
Room TBA
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 18/60

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
Room TBA
Amy Chazkel 4 9/15

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
Room TBA
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
Room TBA
Rhiannon Stephens 4 4/15

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
Room TBA
Hannah Farber 4 13/14

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
Room TBA
Jessica Lee 4 8/15

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
Room TBA
Gulnar Kendirbai 4 2/15

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
Room TBA
Mark Lilla 4 14/15

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
Room TBA
Barbara Fields 4 0/15

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
Room TBA
Brandon Schechter 4 3/15

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 W 8:10am - 10:00am
Room TBA
David Rosner 4 15/18

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 15/15

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
Room TBA
Michael Stanislawski 4 26/25

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
Room TBA
Gregory Mann 4 23/15

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
Room TBA
Anna Danziger Halperin 4 9/12
HIST 3839 002/66771 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Charly Coleman 4 0/12
HIST 3839 003/62549 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Elizabeth Blackmar 4 10/12
HIST 3839 004/62145 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
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
Room TBA
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4 0/15

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
Room TBA
Amy Chazkel 4 8/15

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
Room TBA
Stephanie McCurry 4 15/15

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
Room TBA
Martha Howell 4 14/15

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
Room TBA
Dennis Tenen, Pamela Smith 4 18/20

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
Room TBA
Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky 4 15/15

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
Room TBA
Rhiannon Dowling 4 15/15

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
Room TBA
Craig Wilder 4 20/20

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
Room TBA
Roham Alvandi 4 10/15

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
Room TBA
Ido de Haan 4 15/15

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 10/10

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
Room TBA
Elidor Mehilli 4 15/15

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 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. 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. 

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

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
Room TBA
Samuel Roberts 4 0/15

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
Room TBA
Rashid Khalidi 4 10/18

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
Room TBA
4 1/15

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
Room TBA
Tahira Khan 4 22/20

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
Room TBA
Lan Li, Tillmann Taape 4 15/15

2018-2019 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.

Fall 2018: AFCV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFCV 1020 001/72468 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
253 Engineering Terrace
James Purcell 4 10/22
AFCV 1020 002/22673 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
309 Hamilton Hall
Elleni Zeleke 4 11/22
Spring 2019: AFCV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFCV 1020 001/29747 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
James Purcell 4 15/22
AFCV 1020 002/21012 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Elleni Zeleke 4 15/22

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.

Fall 2018: LACV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
LACV 1020 001/96248 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
C01 80 Claremont
Paul Katz 4 16/22
Spring 2019: LACV UN1020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
LACV 1020 001/72633 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
David Colmenares Gonzalez 4 22/22

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.

Fall 2018: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/26580 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Paul Kreitman 4 84/90
Spring 2019: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/16983 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Gregory Pflugfelder 4 90/90

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 2018: HSME UN2915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSME 2915 001/27635 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
337 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Mamadou Diouf 4 19/30

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.

Fall 2018: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/71657 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Mae Ngai 4 22/22
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 10/22

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.

Fall 2018: HSEA GU4725
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4725 001/25516 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
307 Pupin Laboratories
Gray Tuttle 4 10/20

HSEA GU4847 Modern Japan. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Not offered during 2018-19 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
Room TBA
Paul Kreitman 4 27/25

HSEA GU4860 Culture and Society of Choson Korea, 1392-1910. 3 points.

Major cultural, political, social, economic and literary issues in the history of this 500-year long period. Reading and discussion of primary texts (in translation) and major scholarly works. All readings will be in English.

Fall 2018: HSEA GU4860
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4860 001/20826 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
424 Pupin Laboratories
Jungwon Kim 3 17/20

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 2018: HSEA GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4880 001/29475 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
413 Kent Hall
Ulug Kuzuoglu 3 50/60

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.

Fall 2018: HSEA GU4881
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4881 001/26321 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Robert Hymes 3 10/20