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 69/75

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 V2371
Corequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE V2371

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 85/90
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 0/90

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 62/105

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 68/75

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 4 176/200

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 5/15

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 2018 History Courses

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

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

HIST UN1020 The Romans, 754 BC to 565 AD. 4 points.

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

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 0/54

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 UN2330 Europe: from the Nazi New Order to the European Union. 4 points.

The history of Europe in the wider world from the Allies' victorious war against the Nazi New Order to the triumph of the European Union after the collapse of Soviet Empire. Lectures bring Eastern and Western Europe into one focus, to study the impact of the Cold War, the exit from colonial empire, Europe's "Economic Miracle, the sexual revolution, Europe's slowdown after the 1970s Oil Shock, Euro-Reaganism, and the impact of globalization from the 1990s to the 2008 crisis.  

HIST UN2411 The Rise of American Capitalism. 4 points.

Examines the social conflicts that accompanied the transformation of the United States from an agrarian republic and slave society to one of the most powerful industrial nations in the world. Particular attention will be paid to the building of new social and economic institutions and to cultural and visual representations of the nation and its people. Readings include major secondary works and primary documents. Formerly: American Society in the age of Capital, 1819-1897.

HIST UN2415 Immigrant New York. 4 points.

This seminar explores the intersection of immigration, race, and politics in New York City, both from the perspective of history and in relation to contemporary realities. In this course we will discuss the ways in which immigration has reshaped the cultural, economic, and political life of New York City both in the past as well as the present. Readings will focus on the divergent groups who have settled in New York City, paying close attention to issues of gender, class, race, the role of labor markets, the law, and urban development.

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 62/105

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 0/42

HIST UN2501 The Early American Republic: How the Rebels Became the Empire . 4 points.

The American Revolution is often imagined as a rebellion against a mighty empire that gave rise to a self-governing republic. But during the first decades of American independence, some of the new republic’s political leaders set about building an empire of their own. This introductory-level course lays out a narrative of the early American republic in which one Anglo-American empire was broken and another arose to take its place. The course also asks: at what cost came this new American empire, and what alternatives—practical, radical, or utopian—were passed over in the course of its creation? 

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 0/42

HIST UN2566 Popular Music in American History. 4 points.

This course examines the history of American popular culture through music and radio, beginning in the 1830s with minstrelsy, the first distinctively "American" popular culture, and ending in the 1960s with Motown.  The course acquaints students with key concepts that aim to "read" cultural production and to explore what's unique about culture primarily experienced through the ears.  It examines debates over culture's qualifiers, from popular to mass, high to low. 

Spring 2019: HIST UN2566
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2566 001/22193 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Hilary-Anne Hallett 4 0/30

HIST UN2577 U.S.-MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS. 4 points.

The United States has had a long and varied history of encounters with the Middle East. From early visions of the Holy Land, to Cold War geopolitics, to the so-called War on Terror, Americans have sought to shape and been shaped by the region. This course will survey the history of U.S.-Middle East from the nineteenth century to the present.

HIST UN2689 COLONIAL CITIES OF THE AMERICAS, c. 1500-1800. 4 points.

This course examines the history of cities in the Americas in the colonial era, c. 1500-1800, organized around three large themes. First, we study the precolonial origins of American urban systems, focusing especially on Mesoamerica and the Andes, and exploring questions of urban continuity, disruption and change, and the forms of indigenous cities. Second, we study various patterns of city foundations and city types across the Americas, examining Spanish, Portuguese, British, Dutch and French colonial urban systems. Third, we focus on the cities more closely by looking at key issues such as urban form, built environment, social structure. Specific themes include a critical analysis of the Spanish colonial grid, the baroque city, and 18th-century urban reforms, as well as race and class, urban slavery, and urban disease environments. 

HIST UN3007 Development of the Greek City-State. 4 points.

This course will trace the development of the polis or city-state as the dominant socio-political unit in ancient Greece, looking at how and why this development took place and what effect it had on Greek society and culture.

HIST UN3109 Behaving and Misbehaving: The Body in Early Modern Europe. 4 points.

This course uses the human body to explore life and death, society and politics, belief and practice in early modern Europe (c.1500-1700). Each week we will engage with a new dimension of early modern culture, and study diverse ways of looking at the body to reveal people’s everyday experiences. We will talk about different ways in which people understood their bodies. We will read about what early moderns put into, and what came out of, their bodies. We will explore how bodies were supposed to behave, and study examples of bodies behaving badly. We will look at visual sources to consider the meanings and functions of images of the body. We will use primary sources to listen to the voices of the bodies we are studying. As we go through the readings, we will also pay special attention to the challenges posed by surviving sources, and discuss how different historians address them. The course will culminate in a final paper built on original student research with primary sources.

HIST UN3180 Conversion in Historical Perspective. 4 points.

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

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

Boundary crossers have always challenged the way societies imagined themselves. This course explores the political, religious, economic, and social dynamics of religious conversion. The course will focus on Western (Christian and Jewish) models in the medieval and early modern periods. It will include comparative material from other societies and periods. Autobiographies, along with legal, religious and historical documents will complement the readings. 

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 0/15

HIST UN3366 Intellectual Life in Nineteenth-Century Britain . 4 points.

This course aims to give students a wide overview of the transformation of intellectual life of Britain in the long nineteenth century as well as a sense of some of the dynamics of intellectual change in this period. The nineteenth century has been long-established as a period of enormous social, economic, and political upheaval. The course has been designed as a critical examination of key ideas and themes in the intellectual and cultural history of this period. The topics covered range from ideas about identity, empire, and history, through conceptions of progress in natural and social science as well as anti-industrialization and economic commentary, to questions of sex, gender, race, and the avant garde raised at the fin de siècle. This course will equip students with skills in reading, analyzing, and contextualizing texts in the history of ideas.

HIST UN3418 American Futures in the Progressive Era . 4 points.

Seminar covers ideas about “progress” in the United States, 1880-1917, and explores different visions for the American future, concerning race, immigration, wealth distribution, gender, and state power. We will read a different thinker each week and, throughout the semester, consider if and how these visions of the American future came to be. 

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 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 0/18

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 0/15

HIST UN3679 MEXICO AND THE UNITED STATES: MIGRATION, POLITICS, AND CULTURE. 4 points.

In Trump’s presidential campaign, perhaps no country loomed as large as Mexico. Trump singled out the United States’ southern neighbor and its people in his speeches, promising to build a wall along the border, to deport millions of Mexicans, and to end the North American Free Trade Agreement. He described Mexicans in racist terms, and he proclaimed his love of the taco bowl to counter charges of discrimination. Today, there is more uncertainty about the future of Mexico-U.S. relations than at any other time in living memory.


It is critical to understand this bilateral relationship not only because it is in flux, but also because these two countries are so deeply connected. Mexican migration to the United States is the most massive flow of immigrants in modern history. No country has more consulates in another country than Mexico has in the United States. Trade between these countries is crucial for both economies. The people of these two nations constantly share and adapt each other’s cuisine, music, language, and holidays. But despite proximity and interconnection, tension and violence are also near-constant features of interactions between the two countries. How has this peculiarly close, unequal, and ambivalent relationship between Mexico and the United States in the past two hundred years? By the end of this course, you will be able to offer some answers to this thorny question.


The course is divided into 4 units, spanning from nineteenth century to the present day, although the bulk of the course focuses on the twentieth century. We will cover periods of great tension between the countries, such as the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), but we will also examine moments when friendlier relations prevailed. We will look at Mexican migration over the past 150 years. We will also note the intensity of cultural exchanges between the countries, particularly during the twentieth century, that have spanned from fine arts to fast food. Finally, we will talk about the economic ties that have long linked Mexico and the United States, including the 1994 signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

HIST UN3789 Histories of Poverty in Africa. 4 points.

In this course we will explore in a critical manner the concept of poverty in Africa. The emphasis is on historicizing categories such as poverty and wealth, debt and charity and on the ways in which people in Africa have understood such categories. As such the course takes a longue durée approach spanning over a millennium of history, ending with contemporary understandings of poverty. 

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 0/12
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 0/12
HIST 3839 004/62145 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Malgorzata Mazurek 4 0/12

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 12:10pm - 2:00pm
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 GU4110 French America, 1534-1804. 4 points.

A study of the French Atlantic World from the exploration of Canada to the Louisiana Purchase and Haitian Independence, with a focus on the relationship between war and trade, forms of intercultural negotiation, the economics of slavery, and the changing meaning of race. The demise of the First French Colonial Empire occurred in two stages: the British victory at the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, and the proclamation of Haitian Independence by insurgent slaves in 1804. The first French presence in the New World was the exploration of the Gulf of St. Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534. At its peak the French Atlantic Empire included one-third of the North American continent, as well as the richest and most productive sugar and coffee plantations in the world. By following the history of French colonization in North America and the Caribbean, this class aims to provide students with a different perspective on the history of the Western hemisphere, and on US history itself. At the heart of the subject is the encounter between Europeans and Native Americans and between Europeans and Africans. We will focus the discussion on a few issues: the strengths and weaknesses of French imperial control as compared with the Spanish and the British; the social, political, military, and religious dimensions of relations with Native Americans; the extraordinary prosperity and fragility of the plantation system; evolving notions of race and citizenship; and how the French Atlantic Empire shaped the history of the emerging United States. The course is designed for advanced undergraduates. It will be open to graduate students by permission of the History DGS and the instructor.

HIST GU4219 Foreign Relations of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1904-2014. 4 points.

This class focuses on the foreign relations of Russia and the Soviet Union between the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War at the beginning of the twentieth century and the Russian annexation of Crimea in the early twenty-first. We will approach this topic from a perspective that is both historical and comprehensive, although the class cannot be exhaustive. While the interactions between states and governments will play a central role, as they have done in reality, we will not reduce them to the workings of idealized rational actors, be they institutions or people. Instead we will embed them in contexts shaped by social, cultural, and ideological factors. In particular, we will give due consideration to issues of perception and interpretation. This class relies on highlighting select key issues and works through readings that include authoritative works of research and analysis, but also polemical, instrumental, or partisan texts by contemporaries. The readings also offer a sample of writings from different chronological stages, unfolding against different political and cultural backgrounds of thinking about Russia and the Soviet Union (such as the interwar period, the Great Alliance, the Cold War, or détente, to name only a few). Participants are encouraged to read thoroughly as well as critically and never forget the issue of context.     

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 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Richard Wortman 4 0/10

HIST GU4226 Life and Fate: The Soviet Experience of World War Two . 4 points.

This class uses Vasily Grossman’s masterpiece “Life and Fate” – often considered the “War and Peace” of World War Two – as a guide to explore central aspects of the history of the Soviet Union under Stalinism and after. Our approach will be historical; the class will not focus on questions better addressed in literary studies or criticism. Instead, in this class Grossman’s novel will serve as a gateway to learn about and discuss a set of issues which have in common that they were of great importance in the history of the former Soviet Union as well as Europe and the world. These include the Second World War; the nature of power in modern authoritarian systems, in particular the question of totalitarianism; the Holocaust and antisemitism, and the memory of World War Two in the Soviet Union and beyond.

HIST GU4311 European Romanticism. 4 points.

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

“…Romanticism is the largest recent movement to transform the lives and the thought of the Western world. It seems to me to be the greatest single shift in the consciousness of the West that has occurred, and all the other shifts which have occurred in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries appear to me in comparison less important, and at any rate deeply influenced by it.” (Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism)


This seminar will introduce students to the manifold expressions of Romanticism in Europe from the late eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century. It is geared both at History majors, particularly but not exclusively those specializing in European Intellectual History, and at students interested in the literature and culture of Germany, France, and Great Britain. We will also  take a  brief look at Romantic writers in Eastern Europe. We will read primarily works written by philosophers and social thinkers, but also a good deal of literature, both prose and poetry. We will have two sessions devoted to the plastic arts – including a class trip to the Metropolitan Museum to view paintings and sculptures, and we will have one session devoted to Romantic music (a study of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.)  We will include readings relating to the Romantic fascination with “the East,” and devote one session to the crucial subject of Romanticism and gender.  Most of the readings will be primary sources either originally in or translated into English, as well as a selection of pertinent secondary sources.

AMHS GU4403 The Sixties in the Archive. 4 points.

This course explores the multifaceted history of the 1960s, connecting political, cultural, and social movements, and examining the legacies of this crucial decade from the vantage point of half a century. Working with Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library the class will emphasize archival collections and independent research. Students will develop advanced research skills and work independently to complete a digital exhibition highlighting their archival discoveries.

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 0/15

HSCL GU4607 Rabbis for Historians. 3 points.

This course introduces the central historical issues raised by ancient Palestinian and Babylonian rabbinic literature through exploration of some of the crucial primary texts and analysis of the main scholarly approaches to these texts.

HIST GU4706 THE OTTOMANS AND THE WORLD AROUND THEM. 4 points.

The Ottomans ruled in South East Europe, Anatolia, the Middle East, and North Africa for six hundred years. The objective of this seminar is to understand the society and culture of this bygone empire whose legacy still continues, in one way or another, in some twenty-five contemporary successor states from the Balkans to the Arabian Peninsula. The seminar is designed to place the Ottomans within the broader structures of global and regional histories with a particular focus on the cultural and trans-cultural history of the Ottoman Empire in the early modern era. Students will be familiarized with a number of key issues that explore identities and mentalities, status of minorities and confessional politics, governance of the empire and legitimation tactics of the political authority against its rivals, literacy and the use of the public sphere, or legal culture and pluralism.

HIST GU4811 Encounters with Nature: The History of Environment and Health in South Asia and Beyond. 4 points.

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

This course offers an understanding of the interdisciplinary field of environmental, health and population history and will discuss historical and policy debates with a cross cutting, comparative relevance: such as the making and subjugation of colonized peoples and natural and disease landscapes under British colonial rule; modernizing states and their interest in development and knowledge and technology building, the movement and migration of populations, and changing place of public health and healing in south Asia. The key aim of the course will be to introduce students to reading and analyzing a range of historical scholarship, and interdisciplinary research on environment, health, medicine and populations in South Asia and to introduce them to an exploration of primary sources for research; and also to probe the challenges posed by archives and sources in these fields. Some of the overarching questions that shape this course are as follows: How have environmental pasts and medical histories been interpreted, debated and what is their contemporary resonance? What have been the encounters (political, intellectual, legal, social and cultural) between the environment, its changing landscapes and state? How have citizens, indigenous communities, and vernacular healers mediated and shaped these encounters and inserted their claims for sustainability, subsistence or survival? How have these changing landscapes shaped norms about bodies, care and beliefs? The course focuses on South Asia but also urges students to think and make linkages beyond regional geographies in examining interconnected ideas and practices in histories of the environment, medicine and health. Topics will therefore include (and students are invited to add to these perspectives and suggest additional discussion themes): colonial and globalized circuits of medical knowledge, with comparative case studies from Africa and East Asia; and the travel and translation of environmental ideas and of medical practices through growing global networks.

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 11/22
AFCV 1020 002/22673 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
309 Hamilton Hall
Elleni Zeleke 4 12/22
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 0/22
AFCV 1020 002/21012 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Elleni Zeleke 4 0/22

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 15/22
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 0/22

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 V2371
Corequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE V2371

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 85/90
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 0/90

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

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 0/25

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