Departmental Office: 413 Fayerweather; 212-854-4646

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Stephanie McCurry , 603 Fayerweather; sm4041@columbia.edu

Undergraduate Administrator: Michael Adan, undergraduate-history@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.


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 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.


  • Elazar Barkan (SIPA)
  • Volker Berghahn (emeritus)
  • Richard Billows
  • Elizabeth Blackmar
  • Casey Blake
  • Christopher Brown
  • Richard Bulliet (emeritus)
  • Euan Cameron (UTS)
  • Elisheva Carlebach  
  • Mark Carnes (Barnard)
  • Zeynep Çelik
  • George Chauncey
  • John Coatsworth (Provost)
  • Matthew Connelly
  • Victoria de Grazia (emerita)
  • Andrew Delbanco (English and Comparitive Literature)
  • Mamadou Diouf (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
  • Alan Dye (Barnard)
  • Catherine Evtuhov 
  • Barbara Fields
  • Eric Foner (emeritus)
  • Pierre Force (French and Romantic Philology)
  • Carol Gluck (emerita)
  • Frank Guridy
  • Martha Howell (emerita)
  • Robert Hymes (East Asian Language and Cultures)
  • Kenneth Jackson (emeritus)
  • Karl Jacoby
  • Richard John (Journalism)
  • Matthew Jones
  • Ira Katznelson (Political Science)
  • Joel Kaye (Barnard)
  • Alice Kessler-Harris (emerita)
  • Rashid Khalidi
  • Dorothy Ko (Barnard)
  • Adam Kosto
  • William Leach (emeritus)
  • Eugenia Y. Lean (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Feng Li (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Mark Lilla (Religion)
  • Claudio Lomnitz (Anthropology)
  • John Ma (Classics)
  • Gregory Mann
  • Mark Mazower
  • Stephanie McCurry
  • Jose Moya (Barnard)
  • Celia Naylor (Barnard)
  • Mae Ngai
  • Susan Pedersen
  • Kim Phillips-Fein
  • Pablo Piccato
  • Rosalind Rosenberg (Barnard)
  • David Rosner (Mailman School of Public Health)
  • David Rothman (Physicians and Surgeons)
  • Emmanuelle Saada (French and Romance Philology)
  • Simon Schama (University Professor)
  • Seth Schwartz
  • Myroslav Shkandrij (Visiting - Fall 2022)
  • Herbert Sloan (Barnard, emeritus)
  • Pamela Smith 
  • Robert Somerville (Religion)
  • Michael Stanislawski
  • Anders Stephanson
  • Lisa Tiersten (Barnard)
  • Adam Tooze
  • Deborah Valenze (Barnard)
  • Michael Witgen
  • Marc Van de Mieroop
  • David Weiman (Barnard College)
  • Carl Wennerlind (Barnard College)
  • Richard Wortman (emeritus)
  • Julio  Esteban Vezub (Visiting - Spring 2023)
  • Madeleine Zelin (East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Associate Professors

  • Manan Ahmed
  • Gergely Baics (Barnard)
  • Lisbeth Kim Brandt (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Paul Chamberlin 
  • Amy Chazkel
  • Charly Coleman
  • Marwa Elshakry
  • Ansley Erickson (Teachers College)
  • Abosde George (Barnard)
  • Sarah Haley
  • Hilary Hallett
  • Rebecca Kobrin
  • Natasha Lightfoot
  • David Lurie (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Malgorzata Mazurek
  • Nara Milanich (Barnard)
  • Lien-Hang Nguyen
  • Gregory Pflugfelder (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Caterina Pizzigoni
  • Anupama Rao (Barnard)
  • Camille Robcis
  • Samuel Roberts
  • Neslihan Senocak
  • Kavita Sivaramakrishnan (Mailman School of Public Health)
  • Rhiannon Stephens
  • Gray Tuttle (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Carl Wennerlind (Barnard)

Assistant Professors

  • Merlin Chowkwanyun (Mailman School of Public Health)
  • Hannah Farber
  • Marcel Garbos (Visiting - Fall 2022)
  • Ali Karjoo-Ravary
  • Gulnar Kendirbai (visiting)
  • Paul Kreitman (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Andrew Lipman (Barnard)
  • Sailakshmi Ramgopal
  • A. Tunç Şen
  • Alma Steingart
  • Yana Skorobogatov (Spring 2023)
  • James Stafford

Lecturers in Discipline

  • Alfonso Delgado
  • Luca Falciola
  • Madison Whitman

On Leave

Fall 2022:   Carlebach, Kosto, Mazurek, Nguyen, Steingart, Sen, Stephanson, Tooze,

Spring 2023:  Ahmed, Chauncey, Chazkel, Coleman, Chamberlin, Khalidi, Kosto, Ramgopal, Sen, Smith, Steingart

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).

All History majors MUST submit an UNDED approved Plan of Study to the department in order to be certified.

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 CIVILIZATION (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)
  • PRIM TEXTS OF LATIN AMER CIV (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)
  • INTRO TO EAST ASIAN CIV: CHINA (ASCE UN1359), INTRO EAST ASIAN CIV: JPN (ASCE UN1361)INTRO TO EAST ASIAN CIV: 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.

All History concentrators MUST submit an UNDED approved Plan of Study to the department in order to be certified.

Fall 2023 History Courses

HIST UN1010 ANCIENT GREEK HIST, 800-146 BC. 4.00 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 2023: HIST UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1010 001/10428 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
313 Fayerweather
Richard Billows 4.00 46/60

HIST BC1101 EUROPEAN HISTORY 1500-1789. 4.00 points.

Political, economic, social, religious, and intellectual history of early modern Europe, including the Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, absolutism, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment

Fall 2023: HIST BC1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1101 001/00178 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
504 Diana Center
Deborah Valenze 4.00 42/70


Themes include Native and colonial cultures and politics, the evolution of American political and economic institutions, relationships between religious and social movements, and connecting ideologies of race and gender with larger processes such as enslavement, dispossession, and industrialization

Fall 2023: HIST BC1401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1401 001/00179 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
405 Milbank Hall
Andrew Lipman 4.00 61/70

HIST UN1488 Indigenous History of North America. 4.00 points.

This course is an introduction to the history of the Native peoples of North America. Instruction will focus on the idea that indigenous people in North America possess a shared history in terms of being forced to respond to European colonization, and the emergence of the modern nation-state. Native peoples, however, possess their own distinct histories and culture. In this sense their histories are uniquely multi-faceted rather than the experience of a singular racial group. Accordingly, this course will offer a wide-ranging survey of cultural encounters between the Native peoples of North America, European empires, colonies, and emergent modern nation-states taking into account the many different indigenous responses to colonization and settler colonialism. This course will also move beyond the usual stories of Native-White relations that center either on narratives of conquest and assimilation, or stories of cultural persistence. We will take on these issues, but we will also explore the significance of Native peoples to the historical development of modern North America. This will necessarily entail an examination of race formation, and a study of the evolution of social structures and categories such as nation, tribe, citizenship, and sovereignty

Fall 2023: HIST UN1488
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1488 001/10403 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Michael Witgen 4.00 26/35

HIST UN2213 Early Russian History (to 1800). 4 points.

Prerequisites: Must register for corequisite discussion section HIST UN2214

Early Russian History is the first semester of a full-year survey of Russian history; the second semester, Modern Russian History (Since 1800), will be offered in 2017-18. (Each may also be taken independently.) During this semester, we will first look at societies in the Black Sea region and Eurasian plain – their formation, evolution, and sometimes demise – until the emergence of an early modern empire centered in Moscow. The history of the Russian Empire proper begins with the conquest of the Khanate of Kazan in 1552, and culminates in the modern European empire of Peter I and Catherine II. We will examine, in turn, the Black Sea civilizations of antiquity and the medieval age; the Mongol Empire and its westernmost projection, the Golden Horde; the city of Moscow and the Muscovite Empire (15th –17th centuries) over which it presided; and, finally, the new imperial capital of St. Petersburg and the monarchs, the empire, the foreign policy and society of the eighteenth century. We will pay special attention to religion, cultural interaction, myth, monarchy, empire – all themes essential to current historical scholarship.

Fall 2023: HIST UN2213
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2213 001/10381 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
307 Uris Hall
Catherine Evtuhov 4 19/35


Examines the shaping of European cultural identity through encounters with non-European cultures from 1500 to the post-colonial era. Novels, paintings, and films will be among the sources used to examine such topics as exoticism in the Enlightenment, slavery and European capitalism, Orientalism in art, ethnographic writings on the primitive, and tourism

Fall 2023: HIST BC2321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2321 001/00180 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
504 Diana Center
Lisa Tiersten 3.00 58/70
HIST 2321 AU1/21116 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Othr Other
Lisa Tiersten 3.00 8/8

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

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

Spring 2024: HIST UN2398
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2398 001/11493 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
602 Hamilton Hall
Charly Coleman 4 0/70


This course will examine the historical development of crime and the criminal justice system in the United States since the Civil War. The course will give particular focus to the interactions between conceptions of crime, normalcy and deviance, and the broader social and political context of policy making

Fall 2023: HIST BC2401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2401 001/00181 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
304 Barnard Hall
Matthew Vaz 3.00 65/63

HIST BC2413 UNITED STATES 1940-1975. 3.00 points.

Emphasis on foreign policies as they pertain to the Second World War, the atomic bomb, containment, the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam. Also considers major social and intellectual trends, including the Civil Rights movement, the counterculture, feminism, Watergate, and the recession of the 1970s

Fall 2023: HIST BC2413
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2413 001/00182 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
304 Barnard Hall
Mark Carnes 3.00 121/150
HIST 2413 AU1/18953 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Othr Other
Mark Carnes 3.00 15/15


This course offers a survey of the poltiical history of contemporary Africa, with a focus on the states and societies south of the Sahara. The emphasis is on struggle and conflict—extending to war—and peace

Fall 2023: HIST UN2438
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2438 001/10541 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
331 Uris Hall
Gregory Mann 4.00 11/35


Major themes in African-American History: slave trade, slavery, resistance, segregation, the New Negro, Civil Rights, Black Power, challenges and manifestations of the contemporary Color Line.General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)

Fall 2023: HIST BC2440
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2440 001/00183 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
203 Diana Center
Celia Naylor 3.00 27/32


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

Fall 2023: HIST UN2523
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2523 001/10416 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
428 Pupin Laboratories
Samuel Roberts 4.00 83/105

HIST UN2533 US LESBIAN & GAY HISTORY. 4.00 points.

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

Fall 2023: HIST UN2533
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2533 001/10392 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
301 Uris Hall
George Chauncey 4.00 137/140
HIST 2533 AU1/19011 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Othr Other
George Chauncey 4.00 15/15


Fall 2023: HIST UN2535
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2535 001/10400 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
209 Havemeyer Hall
Kimberly Phillips-Fein 4.00 51/70
HIST 2535 AU1/19009 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Othr Other
Kimberly Phillips-Fein 4.00 15/15


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

This course aims to give a portrait of the development of Latin America from the first contact with the Europeans to the creation of independent states. We will focus on society and interaction among the various ethnic and socio-economic groups at the level of daily life. For each class, students will have to read sections of a core text as well as a primary source, or document, from the period; before the end of every class there will be 15 minutes to discuss the document together. In addition, students will enroll in discussion sections held by TAs

Fall 2023: HIST UN2660
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2660 001/10479 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Davis International House
Caterina Pizzigoni 4.00 77/120


Explores changing structures and meanings of family in Latin America from colonial period to present. Particular focus on enduring tensions between prescription and reality in family forms as well as the articulation of family with hierarchies of class, caste, and color in diverse Latin American societies

Fall 2023: HIST BC2664
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2664 001/00184 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
805 Altschul Hall
Nara Milanich 3.00 30/35

HIST UN2671 The Cold War in Latin America. 4.00 points.

This lecture offers a comprehensive view of the Cold War in Latin America and zooms in on those places and moments when it turned hot. It understands the Cold War as a complex and multi-layered conflict, which not only pitted two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—against one another, but also two ideologies—capitalism and socialism—whose appeal cut across societies. In Latin America, the idea of socialist revolution attracted a diverse set of actors (workers, students, intellectuals, politicians, etc.) and posed a significant challenge to both capitalism and United States hegemony. We will probe what the Cold War meant to people across the region, paying particular attention to revolutionary and counterrevolutionary events in Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and Nicaragua, all the while examining the diplomatic and cultural battles for the hearts and minds of Latin Americans

Fall 2023: HIST UN2671
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2671 001/10367 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
415 Schapiro Cepser
Alfonso Salgado 4.00 25/35
HIST 2671 AU1/19014 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Othr Other
Alfonso Salgado 4.00 5/5


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 2023: HIST UN2719
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2719 001/10378 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
301 Uris Hall
Rashid Khalidi 4.00 188/210
HIST 2719 AU1/19013 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Othr Other
Rashid Khalidi 4.00 10/10

HIST BC2980 WORLD MIGRATION. 3.00 points.

Overview of human migration from pre-history to the present. Sessions on classical Rome; Jewish diaspora; Viking, Mongol, and Arab conquests; peopling of New World, European colonization, and African slavery; 19th-century European mass migration; Chinese and Indian diasporas; resurgence of global migration in last three decades, and current debates

Fall 2023: HIST BC2980
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2980 001/00185 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
323 Milbank Hall
Jose Moya 3.00 47/60

HIST UN3011 THE SECOND WORLD WAR. 4.00 points.

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

Fall 2023: HIST UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3011 001/10430 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4.00 13/14


The city has classically been represented as the site of sexual freedom, but also of sexual immorality and danger. This course explores the interrelated histories of sexuality and the city in the twentieth-century United States (especially New York) by exploring how urban conditions and processes shaped sexual practices, identities, communities, and ethics, and how sexual matters shaped urban processes, politics, and representation

Fall 2023: HIST UN3017
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3017 001/10394 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
George Chauncey 4.00 11/10

HIST UN3023 Mobility and Identity in the Roman World. 4.00 points.

This course considers how identity increased, limited, controlled, or otherwise shaped the mobility of individuals and groups in the Roman world, including women, slaves, freedpeople, and diaspora communities. We will identify the structures that produced differences in mobility and consider how such groups understood and represented themselves in a variety of media as possessing a specific, shared identity and community. The course will draw on a range of primary sources, including inscriptions and literary texts (both poetry and prose), and cover the period from the second century BCE to the third century CE

Fall 2023: HIST UN3023
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3023 001/10512 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Sailakshmi Ramgopal 4.00 14/15


Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.
The development of the modern culture of consumption, with particular attention to the formation of the woman consumer. Topics include commerce and the urban landscape, changing attitudes toward shopping and spending, feminine fashion and conspicuous consumption, and the birth of advertising. Examination of novels, fashion magazines, and advertising images

Fall 2023: HIST BC3327
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3327 001/00186 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
308 Diana Center
Lisa Tiersten 3.00 16/15

HIST UN3249 Making Borders: Surveys, Space and Knowledge. 4.00 points.

Drawing borders—around spaces, peoples, populations, property, and states—has been a major part of the creation of the modern world. Borders continue to be flashpoints of international conflict and sites of state violence. This class examines how borders have been constructed and produced at different historical moments, through imperial and international regimes, and in different places around the world. We’ll look at maps, surveys, censuses, plebiscites, passports, and international commissions to consider what borders are and the ways in which they can be manifested and shaped. We’ll reflect on how state officials and soldiers, as well as anthropologists, social scientists, and historians, have created borders in space and around aspects of social life. Borders are produced politically, but they are also literally made by particular technologies and made real through everyday acts and experiences. What techniques are involved in drawing borders, and how have these techniques shaped borders themselves? To put it crudely, how have decisions made in drawing a border affected what is later done at that border? Borders are more than lines on a map or territorial expressions: they bound the contours of political communities, they mark points of surveillance, and they help to create subjects and identities. Ultimately, this class aims to give students the historical skills to think about how borders and spaces are produced materially and politically, how knowledge about space is created and constructed, and how populations and resources are entangled within border regimes, through a range of concrete case studies. The use of these studies will open up further topics related to borders in fields such as legal history, the history of science, settler colonialism, and nationalism

Fall 2023: HIST UN3249
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3249 001/14160 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Samuel Coggeshall 4.00 10/15

HIST UN3334 Marriage and Morals among the Victorians. 4.00 points.

The second half of the 19th century saw a sharp debate in Britain over the terms and conditions of marriage and indeed of gender relations more generally. This course will explore that debate, tracing its effects in law, politics, and personal life. Topics include: conflicts over legal and political rights (including suffrage); love, sex, and sociability; domestic violence, child custody, and the contest over male authority; the “problem” of prostitution; and utopian efforts to reimagine gender relations. Students will read literary and polemical works by John Stuart Mill, Anthony Trollope, Mona Caird, Bernard Shaw, Frances Power Cobbe, Cicely Hamilton and others, will evaluate historians’ arguments, and will develop their own research project

Fall 2023: HIST UN3334
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3334 001/10431 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Susan Pedersen 4.00 13/13

HIST BC3505 Pandemic Tales: Curated Conversations with Migrant Workers. 4.00 points.

Pandemic Tales: Curated Conversations with Migrant Workers will work collaboratively with a New York City-based organization, Damayan. The course will chronicle the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on economically vulnerable Black and Brown communities. We will read about the history of Filipino migrant workers and be trained in the interview process. Our intention is to uplift the stories of undocumented migrant workers’ battles around housing and food insecurity and the collective efforts to provide support and care. Students will work with Damayan leaders in preparation for speaking to members who will share their stories of pain, hardship and resilience during the pandemic. From these stories we will work with Damayan to curate conversations about the impact of the pandemic on Filipino migrants and produce a webpage or podcast for Damayan’s use. This is a Barnard Engages course, supported by the Mellon Foundation, with the intention of fostering long-term relationships between Barnard college faculty and students and New York City-based community organizations addressing issues of poverty, immigration or labor rights. We will partner with Damayan Migrant Workers Association, an organization I have worked with for many years. A worker-run and directed organization, Damayan has been at the forefront of the effort to rescue and advocate on behalf of Filipino migrant workers. They were also involved in providing support for needy families when the pandemic hit. Our class project will be designed in collaboration with Damayan to assist them in their work. They have asked us to uplift the voices of the people severely impacted by the pandemic by curating conversations. There will be a joint public launch of our final product, which could be a webpage or a podcast. Because this is a community-directed project, students should be prepared for changes to the syllabus and end product. Much of the work for this course will be collaborative. Students will be working in teams and I will be working alongside students to produce the final product. In addition to the scheduled class times, there will be other scheduled meetings and/or workshops

Fall 2023: HIST BC3505
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3505 001/00189 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
308 Diana Center
Premilla Nadasen 4.00 10/10

HIST UN3518 COLUMBIA UNI & SLAVERY. 4.00 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 Kings College, with the institution of slavery

Fall 2023: HIST UN3518
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3518 001/10395 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Karl Jacoby 4.00 14/14

HIST UN3562 The Seven Years’ War (1754-1763), Global Perspective: Europe, Asia, Africa, and Americas. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: History Majors Preferred
Prerequisites: History Majors Preferred This research seminar explores the causes, course, and consequences of the Seven Years’ War, arguably the first world war in modern history. Topics include the origins of the conflict in North America and in Europe, the relationship between imperial rivalry in the American colonies and the contest for supremacy in central Europe, the impact of the war on trade and settlement in South Asia, the West Indies, the Philippines, and West Africa, and the legacies of the conflict for British imperial expansion in India, North America, Senegal, and the southern Caribbean. During the second half of the semester, members of the seminar will devote the majority of their time to the research and writing of a substantial paper

Fall 2023: HIST UN3562
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3562 001/10659 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Christopher Brown 4.00 12/15

HIST UN3621 Mass-Mediated Politics in Modern Latin America. 4.00 points.

This advanced undergraduate seminar offers an introduction to the study of mass media and politics in Latin America from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century. Throughout the course, the students will get acquainted with some of the key concepts, problems, and methods through which historians and, to a lesser extent, communication scholars have probed the relationship between mass media and political power in the region. We will define and understand media broadly, but we will focus mainly on printed media, radio, and television. We will discuss both breaks and continuities between different media technologies, journalistic cultures, and political regimes. Knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese is welcome, but not mandatory

Fall 2023: HIST UN3621
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3621 001/10370 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Alfonso Salgado 4.00 11/14

HIST UN3629 Mobilities in the Americas: An Urban and Public History. 4.00 points.

This course will use “mobilities” as a category for historical analysis that captures the social, political, and economic aspects of urban transportation. We will think about mobilities as the social practices that produce the urban space and reproduce inequalities. The course covers different cities of the Americas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will include conversations on the “right to mobilities”, the role of private interests and the meanings of “public”, suburbanization, displacement, restrictions on movement, the political ecology of energy, and feminist approaches to commuting. We will create public history projects to spark a conversation with communities beyond academia

Fall 2023: HIST UN3629
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3629 001/13443 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Luis Andrei Guadarrama Dominguez 4.00 15/15


Explores the historical development of anarchism as a working-class, youth, and artistic movement in Europe, North and Latin America, the Middle East, India, Japan, and China from the 1850s to the present. Examines anarchism both as an ideology and as a set of cultural and political practices

Fall 2023: HIST BC3692
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3692 001/00190 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Ll016 Milstein Center
Jose Moya 4.00 12/15


B. R. Ambedkar is arguably one of Columbia University’s most illustrious alumni, and a democratic thinker and constitutional lawyer who had enormous impact in shaping India, the world’s largest democracy. As is well known, Ambedkar came to Columbia University in July 1913 to start a doctoral program in Political Science. He graduated in 1915 with a Masters degree, and got his doctorate from Columbia in 1927 after having studied with some of the great figures of interwar American thought including Edwin Seligman, James Shotwell, Harvey Robinson, and John Dewey. This course follows the model of the Columbia University and Slavery course and draws extensively on the relevant holdings and resources of Columbia’s RBML, [Rare Books and Manuscript Library] Burke Library (Union Theological Seminar), and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture among others to explore a set of relatively understudied links between Ambedkar, Columbia University, and the intellectual history of the interwar period. Themes include: the development of the disciplines at Columbia University and their relationship to new paradigms of social scientific study; the role of historical comparison between caste and race in producing new models of scholarship and political solidarity; links between figures such as Ambedkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, W. E. B. Du Bois and others who were shaped by the distinctive public and political culture of New York City, and more. This is a hybrid course which aims to create a finding aid for B. R. Ambedkar that traverses RBML private papers. Students will engage in a number of activities towards that purpose. They will attend multiple instructional sessions at the RBML to train students in using archives; they will make public presentations on their topics, which will be archived in video form; and stuents will produce digital essays on a variety of themes and topics related to the course. Students will work collaboratively in small groups and undertake focused archival research. This seminar inaugurates an on-going, multiyear effort to grapple with globalizing the reach and relevance of B. R. Ambedkar 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

Fall 2023: HIST BC3825
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3825 001/00191 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Ll016 Milstein Center
Anupama Rao 4.00 5/18


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 2023: HIST UN3838
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3838 001/10359 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
511 Hamilton Hall
Samuel Coggeshall 4.00 8/11
HIST 3838 002/10360 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Paul Chamberlin 4.00 12/12
HIST 3838 003/10361 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Susan Pedersen 4.00 11/11
HIST 3838 004/10362 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Malgorzata Mazurek 4.00 12/12


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 more thematic and less 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 free people’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

Fall 2023: HIST UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3928 001/10420 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Natasha Lightfoot 4.00 6/14

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

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

Fall 2023: HIST UN3930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3930 001/10357 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Marc Van De Mieroop 4 10/14

HIST UN3982 The Quantified State: How Democracy Includes, Excludes, and Governs with Numbers. 4.00 points.

Numbers have become indispensable to how American know themselves and understand their society. Further, statistical reasoning plays an essential role in the government’s operations. Why have numbers come to play such an important role in modern America? How has numerical data and calculation enabled us to analyze, order, and control the world around us? The course offers a survey of quantification across various domains from politics to governance, crime, education, and economic development. Students will learn how to think critically about the power of quantitative arguments and the ways they are marshalled in specific contexts

Fall 2023: HIST UN3982
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3982 001/10402 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Alma Steingart 4.00 8/15

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

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

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

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

Fall 2023: HIST GU4083
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4083 001/13429 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Neslihan Senocak 4 13/15


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

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

Fall 2023: HIST GU4121
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4121 001/10375 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Zeynep Celik, Tunc Sen 4 11/15

HIST GU4218 The Black Sea in History. 4 points.

      We are used to thinking of history in national terms, or at least in reference to major civilizations (“Western civilization,”  “Near Eastern civilization,” etc.). In  “real life,” however, interactions among people, linguistic communities, and cultures frequently cut across political divisions. Water – rivers, streams, seas – is often an invitation to settlement, commerce, and conquest. This course offers a look (inspired in part by Fernand Braudel's Mediterranean) at a body of water – the Black Sea – and the lands around it, in sweeping historical perspective. Focus is on those moments when the various civilizations and empires that originated and flourished around the Black Sea met and intersected in friendship or in enmity. We will look at ancient civilizations, Greek colonization, Byzantine-Slav interactions, the period of Ottoman dominance, Russian-Turkish rivalry, and decolonization and wars in the 19th and 20th centuries. We hope that we will be able to pay particular attention to questions of ecology, language, religion, and cultural interaction throughout.

Fall 2023: HIST GU4218
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4218 001/10383 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Catherine Evtuhov 4 20/20

HIST GU4301 Politics and Justice in Latin America through Crime Fiction. 4.00 points.

This seminar will use fiction to understand some of the most urgent problems of contemporary Latin American reality. We will read and discuss works of crime fiction from Latin America in the context of the history of crime and justice in the region. It will be an effort to understand those works both in the literary field, as a part of a popular genre of literature, and in their connections with everyday life, often expressed in the media. In other words, the seminar will be an exercise of reading in context, in a historical perspective but also relation to the expectations that readers and critics had about narratives that dealt with violence and the pursuit of justice

Fall 2023: HIST GU4301
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4301 001/10422 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Pablo Piccato 4.00 10/15

HIST GU4344 Truth from the Past: Introduction to the Philosophy of History. 4.00 points.

Exploring philosophies of history from the ancient Greeks to the present

Fall 2023: HIST GU4344
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4344 001/10385 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
301 Hamilton Hall
Mark Mazower 4.00 15/20

HIST GU4397 Nationalism and Revolution in Modern Ireland. 4.00 points.

Nationalism is one of the most persistent, powerful and elusive forces in modern world history. This course examines it through a particularly compelling and accessible case study: Ireland. As both a subject of, and a partner in, British colonialism, Ireland straddled both the imperial and anti-imperial dimensions of nineteenth and twentieth-century nationalism. Ireland reveals nationalism’s complexities and ambiguities in an era in which large multinational empires, not nation-states, were frequently seen as fundamental units of political organization. Through its relationship to the Catholic church, through the global Irish diaspora (especially, though not exclusively, in the US) and through its correspondence and cooperation with other struggles for ‘nationality’ in nineteenth-century Europe, modern Irish nationalism became a transnational phenomenon. As such, it can show us some of the ways in which growing global communication and interconnection can produce and reinforce national sentiment rather than undermining it. Over a period from the late-eighteenth to the late-twentieth centuries, we will trace the diverse and often conflicting modes of nationalist politics and ideology in Ireland, encompassing controversies over sovereignty, empire, democracy, religion, trade, property, political violence and culture. In so doing, we will not only learn about the role of nationalism in Irish history, but seek to understand its broad conceptual relevance in modern politics

Fall 2023: HIST GU4397
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4397 001/10389 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
301m Fayerweather
James Stafford 4.00 15/15

HIST GU4511 The Philosophical Life. 4.00 points.

The history of philosophy is not only the story of how particular concepts and doctrines — regarding cosmology, metaphysics, mind, language, ethics, politics — developed in the past. It also is the story of different conceptions of the philosophical life itself. In recent decades historians and philosophers have become increasingly interested in this subject. This seminar is devoted to examining different themes and episodes in this history, from antiquity to the present. In the spring of 2022 we will focus on ideas about the philosophical life in classic modern thinkers, from Bacon to Kant

Fall 2023: HIST GU4511
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4511 001/10384 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Mark Lilla 4.00 12/14

HIST GU4525 Immigrant New York. 4.00 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. At several points during the semester, the class will relocate to various locations in New York City, so that the class can meet those shaping the image of immigrant life in New York [in places such as the Tenement Museum] as well as leaders shaping immigrants’ lived experience of the city today

Fall 2023: HIST GU4525
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4525 001/10396 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Rebecca Kobrin 4.00 14/15

HIST GU4569 American Nuclear History, 1940s-1960s. 4.00 points.

This course looks at the role nuclear issues played in American history, politics and society from the instigation of the Manhattan project to the beginnings of arms control negotiations in the 1960s. As well as looking at the political, diplomatic and moral issues raised by the development and possible use of nuclear weapons, the course will also cover the influence of nuclear fears on US culture, and the domestic political controversies and grass roots activism triggered by US nuclear policies, including in such areas as nuclear testing. Classes will also feature discussion of contemporary documents from the period, as well as film clips

Fall 2023: HIST GU4569
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4569 001/13435 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Matthew Jones 4.00 14/15

HIST GU4571 HIV and AIDS in Black America. 4.00 points.

Through a series of thematically-arranged secondary and primary source readings and research writing assignments, students in this seminar course will explore the public health, medical, political, and social histories of HIV and AIDS in Black American communities. The course’s chronological focus begins roughly two decades before the first recognition of the syndrome to the first decade of the twenty-first century. Thematically, the course will address several issues, including syndemic theory; stigma, homophobia and political marginalization; late capitalism and public health; the health effects of segregation; and mass incarceration. Admission to this course is by application: https://forms.gle/aomWYHiqHaGyumBn9. Please note that students enrolling in this course must do so for a grade, and not on a pass/fail or audit basis. GUIDELINES & REQUIREMENTS Undergraduate and masters students are welcome in this course by application. Due to the higher level of course material, students should have an academic or professional background in African-American history or public health history. Students may not enroll this course on a pass/fail basis or as an auditor. Please consult the “Class Performance Guidelines” document for details. Student assessment will be based on various criteria: Class discussion participation 35% Presentation of the readings 15% Writing assignments 50% Policy on Academic Integrity Please note that all students are bound to the guidelines set forth in the College’s statement on Academic Integrity (http://www.college.columbia.edu/academics/academicintegrity)

Fall 2023: HIST GU4571
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4571 001/14161 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Samuel Roberts 4.00 7/15


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.

HIST GU4594 American Society, 1776-1861. 0 points.


This seminar examines the transformation of American society from national independence to the Civil War, paying particular attention to changes in agriculture, war, and treaty-making with Indian nations, the rise of waged labor, religious movements, contests over slavery, and the ways print culture revealed and commented on the tensions of the era. The readings include writings of de Tocqueville, Catherine Beecher, and Frederick Douglass, as well as family correspondence, diaries, and fiction. Students will write a 20 page research paper on primary sources. Field(s): US

Fall 2023: HIST GU4594
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4594 001/10390 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
212d Lewisohn Hall
Elizabeth Blackmar 0 11/15


This seminar is designed to explore the rich but sorely understudied occult scientific lore in the pre-modern Islamic world. For over a millennium, from the seventh through even the twenty-first century, and spanning a broad geographical spectrum from the Nile to Oxus, different forms and praxis of occult scientific knowledge marked intellectual and political endeavors, everyday lives and customs, and faith-based matters of individuals constituting the so-called Islamicate world. However, despite the impressive array of textual, material, and visual sources coming down to us from the Muslim past, the topic has been severely marginalized under the post-Enlightenment definitions of scientific knowledge, which also shaped how the history of sciences in the Islamicate world was written in the last century. One of this seminar’s main objectives is to rehabilitate such biased perspectives through a grand tour of occult knowledge and practice appealed in the pre-modern Muslim world. Over the semester, by relying on a set of secondary studies and translated primary sources, we will revisit the question of the marginalization of Islamicate occult sciences, explore the actors’ definitions and discussions about the epistemic value of these sciences, trace their social and political implications in everyday life and imperial politics, and examine the key textual, technical, and material aspects of the occult tradition. In several of our sessions, we will have hands-on practice to better familiarize ourselves with the instructed techniques and methods in different branches of occult sciences. We will also regularly visit the Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library to view texts and materials available in our collection

Fall 2023: HIST GU4711
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4711 001/10380 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Tunc Sen 4.00 16/15

HIST GU4940 History of the Arctic and Its Climate. 4.00 points.

The course provides an overview of the main aspects of history of the Arctic. However, it differs from the courses on history of the Arctic exploration by deeper attention to the Arctic environment, especially climate, as an important actor and driving force of the colonization of the Arctic space. It does not take climate to be the determining factor in history, but as one of the distinctive characteristics of ‘Arcticality’. Medieval warm period, Little Ice Age, ‘warming of the Arctic’ of the 1930s as well as Global Warming that goes much faster in the Arctic than in other parts of the globe are discussed in connection with human socio-economic activities and knowledge accumulation. In addition to climate and environmental history that includes history of use of biological and mineral resources, animal history, analysis of ecological imperialism, the course is enriched with history of Arctic science and technology, especially of the last century. It also touches upon such significant subjects as race and gender in polar exploration and reflections of Arctic ice in media and culture, including the indigenous ones

Fall 2023: HIST GU4940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4940 001/13395 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Julia Lajus 4.00 12/20

HIST GU4949 The Passions: Introduction to the History of Emotions. 4 points.

This course is designed to introduce students to the history of emotions. We look at classical and contemporary philosophy and history as well as art and poetry on “the passions” – defined variously as emotions, feelings, physical or non-rational sensations or states of consciousness or affects. We begin by asking what is an emotion, and by considering the various historical and philosophical responses to that question. We then look at a number of key emotions from a similarly eclectic, episodic historical perspective. Among those we look at are such classic affective states as love, pleasure, pain, compassion, anger, and fear and terror, and the rise of later more contemporary ones like stress and anxiety, paranoia and trauma.

Fall 2023: HIST GU4949
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4949 001/10377 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Othr Other
Marwa Elshakry, Line Lillevik 4 8/15

Fall 2023 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 Undergraduate Administrator at undergraduate-history@columbia.edu. All courses from the Barnard History Department also count towards the History degree.


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

Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371
Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371 A survey of important events and individuals, prominent literary and artistic works, and recurring themes in the history of Japan, from prehistory to the 20th century

Fall 2023: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/12801 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ren Kraft Center
Gregory Pflugfelder 4.00 76/90
Spring 2024: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/13690 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
142 Uris Hall
4.00 0/90


Interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the study of Africa, moving from pre-colonial through colonial and post-colonial periods to contemporary Africa. Focus will be on its history, societal relations, politics and the arts. The objective is to provide a critical survey of the history as well as the continuing debates in African Studies

Fall 2023: AFRS BC2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 2004 001/00003 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
203 Diana Center
Abosede George 3.00 23/30


This course relies primarily on visual materials to familiarize students with the history of Japan from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the present. It follows a chronological order, introducing students to various realms of Japanese visual culture—from woodblock prints to film, anime, and manga—along with the historical contexts that they were shaped by, and in turn helped shape. Special attention will paid to the visual technologies of nation-building, war, and empire; to historical interactions between Japanese and Euro-American visual culture; to the operations of still versus moving images; and to the mass production of visual commodities for the global marketplace. Students who take the course will emerge not only with a better understanding of Japan’s modern historical experience, but also with a more discerning eye for the ways that images convey meaning and offer access to the past

Fall 2023: HSEA UN3871
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 3871 001/12515 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Gregory Pflugfelder 3.00 8/15


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 2023: HSME UN2915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSME 2915 001/10664 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
520 Mathematics Building
Mamadou Diouf 3.00 15/30


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.
Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructors 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 2023: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/10928 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
304 Hamilton Hall
Manan Ahmed 4.00 19/20
Spring 2024: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/13107 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4.00 0/22

AMST UN3930 Topics in American Studies. 4 points.

Please refer to the Center for American Studies website for course descriptions for each section. americanstudies.columbia.edu

Fall 2023: AMST UN3930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AMST 3930 001/11940 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
James Stephen Shapiro 4 10/18
AMST 3930 002/11948 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Mark Lilla 4 13/18
AMST 3930 003/11960 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Roosevelt Montas 4 19/18
AMST 3930 004/11962 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Hilary-Anne Hallett 4 13/18
AMST 3930 005/11963 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Michael Hindus 4 15/18
AMST 3930 006/12009 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Casey Blake 4 13/18
AMST 3930 007/12015 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
John McWhorter 4 12/18

AMST UN3931 Topics in American Studies. 4 points.

Please refer to the Center for American Studies for section descriptions

Spring 2024: AMST UN3931
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AMST 3931 001/13243 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Andrew Delbanco, Roger Lehecka 4 0/18
AMST 3931 002/13254 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Benjamin Rosenberg 4 0/15
AMST 3931 003/13268 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Roosevelt Montas 4 0/15
AMST 3931 004/13274 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Lynne Breslin 4 0/15
AMST 3931 005/13277 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Ross Posnock 4 0/15


Enrollment is limited to EALAC and AMEC majors and concentrators only.

This course is intended to provide a focal point for undergraduate majors in East Asian Studies. It introduces students to the analysis of particular objects of East Asian historical, literary, and cultural studies from various disciplinary perspectives. The syllabus is composed of a series of modules, each centered around an object, accompanied by readings that introduce different ways of understanding its meaning

Fall 2023: EAAS UN3990
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EAAS 3990 001/12499 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
201 80 Claremont
Robert Hymes 4.00 11/15
EAAS 3990 002/12500 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
308a Lewisohn Hall
David Lurie 4.00 11/15


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic issues and problems in the study of early Chinese civilization, some theoretical and others methodological. Through the review of a long series of debates the course offers a quick entrance both to this early period of history and to these studies. Organized around problems, the course encourages critical thinking and contesting arguments and helps the students weigh different positions addressing the problems. By doing so, the course guides the students to search for frontline questions and to probe possible ways to solve the problems. The course deals with both the written records (inscriptional and textual) and the material evidence, and the student can well expect this course to serve as also updates of the most fascinating archaeological discoveries in China made in the past decades. The course is designed as an upper-level undergraduate and MA course; therefore, it is recommended that undergraduate students should take "ASCE V2359: Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: China" before participating in this course.

Fall 2023: HSEA GU4027
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HSEA 4027 001/13995 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Feng Li 4.00 7/15

CGTH GU4400 Global New York. 3.00 points.

“Wall Street is a disaster area”—so declared a real estate lawyer in a 1974 New York Times story on the pitiful state of lower Manhattan. The World Trade Center had been inaugurated in 1973 as a beacon of global capitalism with a mandate to lease only to international firms. A year later, much of the Twin Towers went unoccupied. Some eight million square feet of financial district office space sat empty, brokerage houses were shuttering at a rate of more than one per day, and the surrounding city was hurtling towards a full-blown fiscal crisis. The New York of the mid-1970s did not appear destined to become the model global city we know today. Within a decade, however, the city had transformed into a central node—arguably the central node—in the ballooning global financial industry and its accompanying class and cultural formations. But this outcome was never guaranteed. How did New York go from “Fear City” to “Capital of the World”? What historical structures, contingencies, and policy decisions produced Global New York? This course examines New York City’s long history as a site of globalization. Since European colonization, New York has served as a hub in world-spanning networks of capital, goods, and people. At the same time, the city’s reinvention in the late-20th century as a “global city”—defined in large part by its deep embeddedness in world financial markets—represented a fundamental shift in the city’s economy, governance, demography, cultural life, and social relations. We will interrogate how this came to be by exploring New York’s historical role in global business, culture, and immigration, with attention to how local and national conditions have shaped the city’s relationship to the world. While critically analyzing how elites both in and outside New York have wielded power over its politics and institutions, readings and discussions will also center the voices of New Yorkers drawn from the numerous and diverse communities that make up this complex city

Fall 2023: CGTH GU4400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CGTH 4400 001/18911 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Sarah Miller-Davenport 3.00 10/20

CSER GU4400 Histories and Representations of the Bronx. 4.00 points.

The history of the Bronx is a history of the struggles, political coalitions, and creative contributions of the dispossessed. To tell the story of the Bronx is to tell the story of how historically marginalized communities have survived and made a home in environments forsaken by the state. And yet, in the popular imagination, the Bronx often circulates simply as a symbol of urban abjection, as the necessary foil against which prosperous urban spaces define themselves. Many of these "Bronx tales" invariably relegate the borough both materially and imaginatively to the past—infused with either white ethnic nostalgia of a lost Bronx innocence or with battle-scar bravado won on its mean streets. This interdisciplinary course invites students to interrogate these long-standing narratives about the Bronx through a critical study of the borough’s rich history and enduring cultural, political, and artistic traditions during the past century. This course explores a variety of movements and artifacts that have been central to the making of the Bronx such as: efforts to establish affordable housing, public art-making, the literary tradition of Bronx coming-of-age stories, grassroots organizing for immigrant rights, struggles against gentrification and environmental racism, and the inter-ethnic collaborations that led to the emergence of hip hop. Students will have the opportunity to embark on field trips and will undertake a wide array of methods including oral histories, performance analysis, archival research, ethnography, mapping, as well as opportunities to engage in creative art-making. By the end of the semester, students will gain a nuanced understanding of the central role that Bronx communities have played in the making of modern New York City

Fall 2023: CSER GU4400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4400 001/13721 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Frank Guridy, Deborah Paredez 4.00 15/15


A novel course on the history of understanding of global climate crisis during the Cold War period and a role of science in the agenda of global climate change aims to demonstrate the connections of present state of knowledge and policy with the trajectory of the past. How much this past (s) could and should be useful is the focus of the discussions in the class. The discussions are based on historical narratives, including the history of institutional landscape of science, impacts of individual scientists, imaginaries of the future in the past. All narratives are imbedded in a larger socio-economic and political context. The unique dimension of the course is the inclusion of Soviet climate science which is considered as a global force with a significant knowledge circulations and participation in international organizations. The course is useful for climate students as well as for history and political science students

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Fall 2023 001 14132 Julia Lajus W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
568 Alfred Lerner Hall

Spring 2023 History Courses


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

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

HIST BC1302 EUROPEAN HISTORY SINCE 1789. 4.00 points.

Emergence of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary mass political movements; European industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism; 20th-century world wars, the Great Depression, and Fascism

Spring 2024: HIST BC1302
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1302 001/00223 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
304 Barnard Hall
Lisa Tiersten 4.00 0/70

HIST UN1512 The Battle for North America: An Indigenous History of the Seven Years War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. 4.00 points.

This course will explore the struggle to control the continent of North America from an Indigenous perspective. After a century of European colonization Native peoples east of the Mississippi River Valley formed a political confederation aimed at preserving Native sovereignty. This Native confederacy emerged as a dominant force during the Seven Years War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. At times Native political interests aligned with the French and British Empires, but remained in opposition to the expansion of Anglo-American colonial settlements into Indian country. This course is designed to engage literature and epistemology surrounding these New World conflicts as a means of the colonial and post-colonial past in North America. We will explore the emergence of intersecting indigenous and European national identities tied to the social construction of space and race. In this course I will ask you to re-think American history by situating North America as a Native space, a place that was occupied and controlled by indigenous peoples. You will be asked to imagine a North America that was indigenous and adaptive, and not necessarily destined to be absorbed by European settler colonies. Accordingly, this course we will explore the intersections of European colonial settlement and Euro-American national expansion, alongside of the emergence of indigenous social formations that dominated the western interior until the middle of the 19th century. This course is intended to be a broad history of Indigenous North America during a tumultuous period, but close attention will be given to use and analysis of primary source evidence. Similarly, we will explore the necessity of using multiple genres of textual evidence – archival documents, oral history, material artifacts, etc., -- when studying indigenous history

Spring 2024: HIST UN1512
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1512 001/11676 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Michael Witgen 4.00 0/35

HIST BC1760 INTRO AFRICAN HIST:1700-PRESNT. 4.00 points.

Survey of African history from the 18th century to the contemporary period. We will explore six major themes in African History: Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World, Colonialism in Africa, the 1940s, Nationalism and Independence Movements, Post-Colonialism in Africa, and Issues in the Making of Contemporary Africa

Spring 2024: HIST BC1760
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1760 001/00232 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Abosede George 4.00 0/65


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


An introductory survey of the history of Russia, the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union over the last two centuries. Russia’s role on the European continent, intellectual movements, unfree labor and emancipation, economic growth and social change, and finally the great revolutions of 1905 and 1917 define the “long nineteenth century.” The second half of the course turns to the tumultuous twentieth century: cultural experiments of the 1920s, Stalinism, World War II, and the new society of the Khrushchev and Brezhnev years. Finally, a look at very recent history since the East European revolutions of 1989-91. This is primarily a course on the domestic history of Russia and the USSR, but with some attention to foreign policy and Russia’s role in the world


Environmental history seeks to expand the customary framework of historical inquiry, challenging students to construct narratives of the past that incorporate not only human beings but also the natural world with which human life is intimately intertwined. As a result, environmental history places at center stage a wide range of previously overlooked historical actors such as plants, animals, and diseases. Moreover, by locating nature within human history, environmental history encourages its practitioners to rethink some of the fundamental categories through which our understanding of the natural world is expressed: wilderness and civilization, wild and tame, natural and artificial. For those interested in the study of ethnicity, environmental history casts into particularly sharp relief the ways in which the natural world can serve both to undermine and to reinforce the divisions within human societies. Although all human beings share profound biological similarities, they have nonetheless enjoyed unequal access to natural resources and to healthy environments—differences that have all-too-frequently been justified by depicting such conditions as “natural.”

Spring 2024: HIST UN2222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2222 001/11628 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
517 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4.00 0/70

HIST BC2375 Fascism in European History. 3.00 points.

What was Fascism? What kind of appeal did authoritarianism and dictatorship have in interwar Europe? How did the Fascist “New Order” challenge liberal democracies and why did it fail in World War II? What was the common denominator of Fascist movements across Europe, and in particular in Mussolini’s Italy, Salazar’s Portugal, Franco’s Spain, culminating in Nazi Germany? This class examines the history of Fascism as an ideology, constellation of political movements, and authoritarian regimes that aimed at controlling the modernization of European societies in the interwar period. Thus, the course focuses in particular on the relationship between politics, science and society to investigate how Fascism envisioned the modernity of new technologies, new social norms, and new political norms. The class will also explore Fascism’s imperialist goals, such as the calls for national renewal, the engineering of a new race, and the creation of a new world order


Prerequisites: Previous course in history strongly recommended.
Prerequisites: Previous course in history strongly recommended. Course enables students to focus on remote past and its relationship to social context and political and economic structures; students will be asked to evaluate evidence drawn from documents of the past, including tracts on diet, health, and food safety, accounts of food riots, first-hand testimonials about diet and food availability. A variety of perspectives will be explored, including those promoted by science, medicine, business, and government

Spring 2024: HIST BC2380
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2380 001/00236 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Deborah Valenze 3.00 0/65


The objectives of this course are: to gain familiarity with the major themes of New York History since 1898, to learn to think historically, and to learn to think and write critically about arguments that underlie historical interpretation. We will also examine and analyze the systems and structures--of race and class--that have shaped life in New York, while seeking to understand how social groups have pursued change inside and outside of such structures

Spring 2024: HIST BC2477
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2477 001/00239 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Room TBA
Matthew Vaz 3.00 0/60

HIST BC2482 REVOLUTIONARY AMERICA, 1763-1. 3.00 points.

How did thirteen diverse British colonies become a single boisterous but fragile new nation? Historians still disagree about the causes, motives, and meanings surrounding the founding of the United States of America. Major themes include the role of ideologies, material interests, global contexts, race, gender, and class

HIST UN2491 US FOREIGN RELATIONS 1890-1990. 4.00 points.

This course has three purposes: (i) to examine the role and identity of the United States in the world, roughly between the 1890s and the late 20th century; (ii) to provide an empirical grasp of U.S. foreign relations during that period; and (iii) to subject to critical inquiry the historiographical views on the various periods and events which have come to make up that history. The lectures, on the whole, will be supplementary to the readings, not a commentary on them

HIST UN2540 HISTORY OF THE SOUTH. 4.00 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


This course explores the ways organized sport constitutes and disrupts dominant understandings of nation, race, gender, and sexuality throughout the Americas. Working from the notion that sport is “more than a game,” the class will examine the social, cultural and political impact of sports in a variety of hemispheric American contexts from the 19th century until the present. While our primary geographic focus will be the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean, the thrust of the course encourages students to consider sports in local, national, and transnational contexts. The guiding questions of the course are: What is the relationship between sport and society? How does sport inform political transformations within and across national borders? How does sport reinforce and/or challenge social hierarchies? Can sport provide alternative visions of the self and community? Throughout the semester we will examine such topics as: the continuing political struggles surrounding the staging of mega-events such as the Olympics and World Cup, the role of professional baseball in the rise and fall of Jim Crow segregation, the impact of football on the evolution of masculine identities in the U.S., the impact of tennis on the Second-Wave feminist movement, and the role of sports in the growth of modern American cities. Course materials include works by historians, sociologists, social theorists, and journalists who have also been key contributors to the burgeoning field of sports studies. Thus, the course has three objectives: 1) To deepen our understanding of the relationship between sport and society 2) To encourage students to examine the sporting world beyond the frame of the nation-state 3) To consider the promises and challenges of sport as a site of social theory and knowledge production


Prerequisites: Students must also enroll in required discussion section.

  Field(s): ANC


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

This course explores major themes in Latin American history from the independence period (ca 1810) to the present. We will hone in on Latin Americas “chronic” problems of social inequality, political polarization, authoritarianism, incomplete democratization, and troubled memory politics. The course covers economic, social, and cultural histories, and gives special weight to the transnational aspects of Latin American ideological struggles – from its dependency on Western capital to its ideological “inner Cold War” – and the way they influenced the subaltern strata of society. The section discussions are a crucial component of the course, and will focus on assigned historiography. While the lecture centers on constructing a cogent meta-narrative for Latin America’s modern era, in the section we will explore not only the historical “facts,” but will instead ask: how do historians know what they know about the past? What sources and analytic methods do they use to write history? And what ethical dilemmas do they confront when narrating politically-sensitive topics?

Spring 2024: HIST UN2661
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2661 001/11504 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
501 Northwest Corner
Alfonso Salgado 4.00 0/105

HIST UN2679 Atlantic Slave Trade. 4.00-4.50 points.

The history of human trafficking in the Atlantic world from the first European slaving expeditions in the late fifteenth century down to the final forced crossings in the era of the U.S. Civil War. Themes include captive taking in West Africa and its impact on West African societies, the commercial organization of the Atlantic slave trade in Europe and the Americas, and the experience of capture, exile, commodification, and survival of those shipped to the Americas

Spring 2024: HIST UN2679
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2679 001/13306 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Christopher Brown 4.00-4.50 0/70


Lect: 1.5. Lab: 1.5.

Data-empowered algorithms are reshaping our professional, personal, and political realities, for good--and for bad. Data: Past, Present, and Future moves from the birth of statistics in the 18th century to the surveillance capitalism of the present day, covering racist eugenics, World War II cryptography, and creepy personalized advertising along the way. Rather than looking at ethics and history as separate from the science and engineering, the course integrates the teaching of algorithms and data manipulation with the political whirlwinds and ethical controversies from which those techniques emerged. We pair the introduction of technical developments with the shifting political and economic powers that encouraged and benefited from new capabilities. We couple primary and secondary readings on the history and ethics of data with computational work done largely with user-friendly Jupyter notebooks in Python

HSPB UN2950 Social History of U.S. Public Health. 4.00 points.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an historical understanding of the role public health has played in American history. The underlying assumptions are that disease, and the ways we define disease, are simultaneously reflections of social and cultural values, as well as important factors in shaping those values. Also, it is maintained that the environments that we build determine the ways we live and die. The dread infectious and acute diseases in the nineteenth century, the chronic, degenerative conditions of the twentieth and the new, vaguely understood conditions rooted in a changing chemical and human-made environment are emblematic of the societies we created. Among the questions that will be addressed are: How does the health status of Americans reflect and shape our history? How do ideas about health reflect broader attitudes and values in American history and culture? How does the American experience with pain, disability, and disease affect our actions and lives? What are the responsibilities of the state and of the individual in preserving health? How have American institutions--from hospitals to unions to insurance companies--been shaped by changing longevity, experience with disability and death?

HIST BC2980 WORLD MIGRATION. 3.00 points.

Overview of human migration from pre-history to the present. Sessions on classical Rome; Jewish diaspora; Viking, Mongol, and Arab conquests; peopling of New World, European colonization, and African slavery; 19th-century European mass migration; Chinese and Indian diasporas; resurgence of global migration in last three decades, and current debates

Fall 2023: HIST BC2980
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2980 001/00185 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
323 Milbank Hall
Jose Moya 3.00 47/60

HIST UN3252 Animals in the History of East Central Europe. 4.00 points.

Over the last two decades scholars in the humanities and social sciences have embraced “the animal turn”: by asking questions about the place of animals in human societies and about animals’ experiences in various times and places they have instigated a field that has come to be known as Animal Studies. This research has expanded the range of analytical tools we have at our disposal to examine social worlds and to study meaning, representation, agency, and context and it also encouraged us to re-consider fundamental questions about the human–animal divide: what it is, where it is, and what its significance is. Moreover, it has become evident that animals are not just passive recipients of human action, but at times they can act as autonomous agents that can contributing the shaping of the world that we share with them. Although this course adopts a perspective which is first and foremost historical, it also emphasizes the field’s interdisciplinary embedding and intersectional potentials. It shows that the study of historical developments through the lens of animals is not only intellectually rewarding in its own right, but it also provides new perspectives on a range of crucial topics, such as the history of war, capitalism, colonialism, consumption and entertainment. The majority of accounts in the field addresses developments in the Anglophone world. While also paying attention to the results of that research, the regional focus of this course will be on East Central Europe. After the first three sessions that serve as an introduction to the field, a number of case studies will reveal that animals have always been an integral part of the region’s social, cultural and economic life and that studying them in a historical perspective provides potentials for nuancing or even revising established knowledge on the history of East Central Europe


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 intersection between personal identity, narrative, and the historical-political, religious, economic, and social aspects of religious conversion. While the course will focus on Western (Christian and Jewish) models in the medieval and early modern periods, we will also look at antiquity, the role of conversion in the spread of Islam, and the complexities of religious conversion through the prism of colonial relations


Examination of European understandings of human senses through the production and reception of art, literature, music, food, and sensual enjoyments in Britain and France. Readings include changing theories concerning the five senses; efforts to master the passions; the rise of sensibility and feeling for others; concerts and the patronage of art; the professionalization of the senses

Spring 2024: HIST BC3368
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3368 001/00244 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Deborah Valenze 4.00 0/15


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 2024: HIST UN3437
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3437 001/11661 W 8:10am - 10:00am
302 Fayerweather
David Rosner 4.00 0/13

HIST BC3495 Representing the Past. 4.00 points.

Examines the renderings of the past as conveyed by historians and by those seeking to "represent" the past, such as novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, ritualists, and artists. Analyzes the theoretical, philosophical, and evidentiary problems and possibilities inherent in various modes of historical narration and representation

Spring 2024: HIST BC3495
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3495 001/00246 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Mark Carnes 4.00 0/15

HIST UN3501 Indians and Empires in North America. 4.00 points.

In this course you will be asked to re-think American history. That is, we will approach the history of America as a continental history. This will require that we think of North America as a New World space, a place that was inhabited and occupied by indigenous peoples, and then remade by the arrival and settlement of Europeans. You will be asked to imagine a North America that was indigenous and adaptive, as well as colonial and Euro-American. This approach to the study of North American history is designed to challenge the epistemology and literature of the history of colonization and American expansion, which displaces Native peoples from the central narrative of American history by placing them at the physical margins of colonial and national development. Instead we will explore the intersection and integration of indigenous and Euro-American national identity and national space in North America and trace their co-evolution from first contact through the early nineteenth century

Spring 2024: HIST UN3501
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3501 001/14731 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Michael Witgen 4.00 0/13

HIST UN3517 The Historical Imagination in Caribbean Literature. 4.00 points.

Caribbean literature offers complicated and vivid portrayals of the Caribbean’s past, and grapples with difficult histories lived by its people that compromised colonial archives can only partially capture. Literary works far exceed the limited narratives of Caribbean history by imagining entire worlds that official documents could never contain, rich selves, cultures and communities built by many generations of Caribbean people. This course is aimed at bringing forth a broader understanding of Caribbean history by examining a body of creative works by feminist and womanist writers that continuously remain attuned to the complexities of the past, which are either underrepresented or absent in the record. Chosen literary texts will also be paired with historical works that will illuminate and contextualize the multiple themes with which these Caribbean authors frequently engage, including slavery, and colonialism, racism and colorism, migration and immigration, gender and sexuality, poverty and globalization. From these pairings, students will explore both the divergences and alignments in how writers and historians approach the work of retelling the past, and will acquire reading and writing skills that will foster thoughtful critical analysis of the ever-changing contours of the Caribbean’s history

Spring 2024: HIST UN3517
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3517 001/11646 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Natasha Lightfoot 4.00 0/13

HIST BC3670 SEEKING ASYLUM. 4.00 points.

Note: This course meets as a lecture but it is a seminar.

Prerequisites: NA
Prerequisites: NA This seminar explores the roots of and responses to the contemporary refugee crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. We examine the historical factors that are propelling people, including families and unaccompanied minors, to flee the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala); the law and politics of asylum that those seeking refuge must negotiate in the U.S.; and the burgeoning system of immigration incarceration that detains ever-greater numbers of non-citizens. The course is organized around a collaboration with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, an organization that provides legal counsel to detainees at the countrys largest immigration detention prison, in Dilley, Texas

HIST BC3770 African Communities in New York, 1900 to the Present. 4.00 points.

This class explores the history of voluntary migrations from Africa to the United States over the course of the 20th century. This course is designed as a historical research seminar that is open to students with prior coursework in African Studies, Africana Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, or History. Thematically the course dwells at a point of intersection between African history, Black History, and Immigration History. As part of the Barnard Engages curriculum, this class is collaboratively designed with the Harlem-based non-profit organization, African Communities Together. The aim of this course is to support the mission of ACT by producing a historically grounded digital advocacy project. The mission of ACT is to empower immigrants from Africa and their families to integrate socially, advance economically, and engage civically. To advance this mission, ACT must confront the reality that in the current political moment new legal, political, and social barriers are being erected to the integration, advancement, and engagement of African immigrants on a daily basis. As immigrants, as Black people, as Africans, and often as women, low-income people, LGBT people, and Muslims, African immigrants experience multiple intersecting forms of marginalization. Now more than ever, it is critical that African immigrants be empowered to tell their own stories—not just of persecution and suffering, but of resilience and resistance

Spring 2024: HIST BC3770
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3770 001/00247 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Abosede George 4.00 0/15


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 UN3712 African Climate and History. 4.00 points.

This course examines how Africa’s climate has changed in the past and with what consequences for the people living on the continent. It looks at the scope, duration and intensity of past climate events and their impacts, while using these historical climate events to teach fundamental climate concepts. Central to the course is the human experience of these events and the diversity of their responses. The major question underpinning this course is, therefore, how have people responded to past climate events, whether short-term, decadal or longer in scope? This question is predicated on the complexity of human society and moves away from the binary of collapse vs. resilience that dominates much thinking about the impact of climate changes on past societies. This framing recognizes the significance of climate for food production and collection, as well as trade and cosmologies. It does not take climate to be the determining factor in history. Rather it foregrounds the myriad ways people acted in the face of, for example, multi-decadal below average rainfall or long periods of more reliable precipitation


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 2024: HIST UN3839
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3839 001/11569 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Samuel Coggeshall 4.00 0/8
HIST 3839 002/11570 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
609 Hamilton Hall
Paul Chamberlin 4.00 0/12
HIST 3839 003/11571 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Susan Pedersen 4.00 0/11
HIST 3839 004/11572 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Malgorzata Mazurek 4.00 0/12

HIST BC3864 Feast/Famine: Food Environment China. 4.00 points.

Food has always been a central concern in Chinese politics, religion, medicine, and culture. This course takes an ecological approach to the provision, preparation, and consumption of food in Chinese history, from the Neolithic times to the post-socialist era today. In examining Chinese approaches to soil fertility, healthy diet, and culinary pleasures, we explore alternative food systems for a more sustainable future

HIST UN3866 WARS OF INDOCHINA. 4.00 points.

Saigon and Hanoi served as competing capitals of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) in the south and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in the north (1954-1975). They were symbols of warring states, one home to a fledgling republic, the other the seat of communist power. Since the late 19th century, they have also been sites of Vietnam’s most dramatic transformations. As such, they occupy an important place in the historiography of modern Vietnam, not least in ongoing debates over the Indochina wars, Vietnamese nationalism, and regional difference. This course examines Saigon and Hanoi as social, political, and cultural spaces, and as representations of their respective states during the war. We first consider the significance of regionalism in fashioning “new ways of being Vietnamese” and examine how colonial rule reinforced those distinctions. We devote the rest of the semester to reading an array of works on the history of these cities. For the colonial period, we examine colonial urbanism, the lives of the poor, intellectuals and their ideas, as well as currents of political agitation and cultural iconoclasm. For the post-World War II period, we will focus on the distinct political cultures that took shape in the RVN and DRV. Finally, we end by looking at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi in the post-war era, particularly after the Socialist Republic of Vietnam instituted sweeping economic reforms in the 1980s. Each week, we will discuss works social, cultural, and political history of Saigon and Hanoi, all the while keeping in mind their divergent trajectories in the three decades following World War II

Fall 2023: HIST UN3866
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3866 001/19050 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Bwy Alfred Lerner Hall
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4.00 6/15
Spring 2024: HIST UN3866
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3866 001/11498 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Lien-Hang Nguyen 4.00 0/13


Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required. Sophomore Standing. Explores migration as a gendered process and what factors account for migratory differences by gender across place and time; including labor markets, education demographic and family structure, gender ideologies, religion, government regulations and legal status, and intrinsic aspects of the migratory flow itself


This course explores how people have thought about their future and tried to change it. It examines the philosophical aspects of studying history and the future, and how they are related. It begins with the origins of future thinking in eschatology and millenarian movements, the enlightenment challenge to revelation and religious authority, and utopias and dystopias. Classic texts and scholarly studies will illuminate modern approaches to shaping the future, such as socialism, imperialism, risk analysis, and “modernization” theory, and areas where they have had a particular impact, including urban planning and eugenics


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


This course will read both classic and recent scholarship on transnational migration and citizenship 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 course is comparative, with readings in the contexts of empire, colonialism and contemporary refugee and migration issues in the U.S. and Europe. The course will be conducted jointly with a class at Sciences Po in Paris, led by Professor Riva Kastoryano, and will be conducted with a video (zoom) connection that will create one classroom out of two. This is an advanced seminar that is reading and discussion intensive. It will be taught in English. Students at Columbia and Sciences Po will prepare presentations together for the joint class. Graduate and Undergraduate students at Columbia may apply for the course; undergraduates should be at least in the junior year and have some reading background in the subject. There will be a maximum of 12 students at each location for combined class of 24

HIST GU4512 Property and Power in 20th Century U.S.. 4.00 points.

This seminar examines debates over meanings, value, and enforcement of property rights in the US over the twentieth century. The course begins with a focus on landed property and its management as real estate and natural resources, raising questions about ownership, tenancy, zoning, eminent domain, public trust doctrines, and contests in Indian Country. It then takes up corporate property and debates over shareholder and managers’ rights and responsibilities, changing structures of investment, and countervailing claims of workers to the property and value of labor and the means of production. With a brief examination of neo-classical economists’ theories and policies of transactional property rights, the course ends with the history of intellectual property rights. Readings include classic theoretical/ideological texts (e.g. MacPherson, Ely, Berle and Means, Coase, Sax, Epstein); social histories, and major legal opinions. Students will write a 20 page research paper using primary sources on a topic of their own interest in this broad field of inquiry


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

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

Spring 2024: HIST GU4588
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4588 001/11652 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Samuel Roberts 4.00 0/13


HIST GU4622 A Global History of Jewish Migration and the State. 4.00 points.

Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, millions of Jews uprooted themselves from their places of birth and settled in new homes around the world. This mass migration not only transformed the cultural and demographic centers of world Jewry, but also fundamentally changed the way in which state’s organized their immigration regimes. In this course, we shall analyze the historiography in migration studies, state formation and Jewish history to make sense of the different factors shaping Jewish immigrants’ experiences in different parts of the world

HIST GU4723 Politics of Archaeology. 4.00 points.

“Who owns antiquities?” “Who owns culture?” These questions that appear frequently today in both popular and scholarly discourse are deeply embedded in political issues and have a long history, going back to the nineteenth century. The seminar will investigate the origins of the battles over antiquities and their links empire building, colonialism, Orientalism, modernity, power, identity construction, racial hierarchies, and money. The chronological frame is from the 1850s to1914 and the geographical focus in the Ottoman Middle East, which was the major theater of contestations. We will look closely into two areas: archaeological excavations and museums. If objects were unearthed (“discovered”) in the first, they were displayed in the second; the Middle East was crowded with the first, while the major museums were in the West, with the exception of the Museum of Antiquities in Istanbul. We will also consider the vast and complex human landscape around the antiquities. In addition to archaeologists, this community included emperors, sultans, diplomats, spies, artists, inspectors, bureaucrats, technocrats, and workers, hence a cohort of individuals from many nationalities, economic strata, ethnic groups, and religions

Spring 2024: HIST GU4723
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4723 001/11567 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Zeynep Celik 4.00 0/13


The course is organized around a series of select conceptual and historical topics and themes. We begin with a discussion of how to define “global history” itself, including the genealogy of this and allied terms, and their value as heuristic categories. We then move on to a series of topics, including: the international politics of infrastructure and of development; curing and caring, the environment and the politics of the body in comparative perspective; and finally, debates over international intellectual property rights and questions of secrecy and transparency in scientific research. Through these examples we aim to investigate the ways in which STM were variously adopted, reconfigured or resisted around the world and how they, in turn, might shape our understanding of the different norms and paradigms in STM studies itself. 


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

HIST GU4811 Encounters with Nature: The History and Politics of Environment, Health and Development in South Asia and Beyond. 4.00 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

Spring 2024: HIST GU4811
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4811 001/11592 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan 4.00 0/13

HIST GU4962 Making and Knowing in Early Modern Europe: Hands-On History. 4.00 points.

This course introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the materials, techniques, contexts, and meanings of skilled craft and artistic practices in early modern Europe (1350-1750), in order to reflect upon a series of topics, including craft knowledge and artisanal epistemology; the intersections between craft and science; and questions of historical methodology in reconstructing the material world of the past. The course will be run as a “Laboratory Seminar,” with discussions of primary and secondary materials, as well as hands-on work in a laboratory. The first semester long course to use the published Edition of Fr. 640 as its focus, it will test the use of the Edition in a higher education classroom to inform the development of the Companion. This course is associated with the Making and Knowing Project of the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University.The first semester-long course to use the published Edition of Fr. 640 as its focus, it will test the use of the Edition in a higher education classroom to inform the development of Phase II of the Making and Knowing Project - a Research and Teaching Companion. Students’ final projects (exploratory and experimental work in the form of digital/textual analysis of Ms. Fr. 640, reconstruction insight reports, videos for the Companion, or a combination) will be published as part of the Companion or the Sandbox depending on content and long-term maintenance considerations

Spring 2023 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 Undergraduate Administrator at undergraduate-history@columbia.edu. All courses from the Barnard History Department also count towards the History degree.


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

Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371
Prerequisites: NOTE: Students must register for a discussion section ASCE UN1371 A survey of important events and individuals, prominent literary and artistic works, and recurring themes in the history of Japan, from prehistory to the 20th century

Fall 2023: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/12801 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ren Kraft Center
Gregory Pflugfelder 4.00 76/90
Spring 2024: ASCE UN1361
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ASCE 1361 001/13690 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
142 Uris Hall
4.00 0/90

HSEA GU4847 MODERN JAPAN. 4.00 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Not offered during 2023-2024 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.


While the rise of women's history and feminist theory in the 1960s and 1970s fostered more general reevaluations of social and cultural history in the West, such progressions have been far more modest in Korean history. To introduce one of the larger challenges in current Korean historiography, this course explores the experiences, consciousness and representations of women Korea at home and abroad from premodern times to the present. Historical studies of women and gender in Korea will be analyzed in conjunction with theories of Western women's history to encourage new methods of rethinking "patriarchy" within the Korean context. By tracing the lives of women from various socio-cultural aspects and examining the multiple interactions between the state, local community, family and individual, women's places in the family and in society, their relationships with one another and men, and the evolution of ideas about gender and sexuality throughout Korea's complicated past will be reexamined through concrete topics with historical specificity and as many primary sources as possible. With understanding dynamics of women's lives in Korean society, this class will build an important bridge to understand the construction of New Women in early twentieth-century Korea, when women from all walks of life had to accommodate their "old-style" predecessors and transform themselves to new women, as well as the lives of contemporary Korean women. This will be very much a reading-and-discussion course. Lectures will review the readings in historical perspective and supplement them. The period to be studied ranges from the pre-modern time up to the turn of twentieth century, with special attention to the early modern period.