Department of History Courses

About Course Numbers:

Each Carnegie Mellon course number begins with a two-digit prefix that designates the department offering the course (i.e., 76-xxx courses are offered by the Department of English). Although each department maintains its own course numbering practices, typically, the first digit after the prefix indicates the class level: xx-1xx courses are freshmen-level, xx-2xx courses are sophomore level, etc. Depending on the department, xx-6xx courses may be either undergraduate senior-level or graduate-level, and xx-7xx courses and higher are graduate-level. Consult the Schedule of Classes each semester for course offerings and for any necessary pre-requisites or co-requisites.


79-104 Global Histories
Fall and Spring: 9 units
Human activity transcends political, geographical, and cultural boundaries. From wars to social movements, technological innovations to environmental changes, our world has long been an interconnected one. Acquiring the ability to understand such transnational and even worldwide processes is an indispensable part of any college education. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop the skills and perspectives needed to understand the contemporary world through investigating its global history. All sections are comparable in their composition of lectures and recitations, required amounts of reading, and emphasis on written assignments as the central medium of assessment. The sections all aim to help students: (1) master knowledge through interaction with the instructors, reading material, and other students, (2) think critically about the context and purpose of any given information, (3) craft effective verbal and written arguments by combining evidence, logic, and creativity, and (4) appreciate the relevance of the past in the present and future. For descriptions of specific sections, see "First Year Experience" at the Dietrich College General Education Website: http://www.hss.cmu.edu/gened/topics-79104.html
Course Website: http://www.hss.cmu.edu/gened/topics-79104.html
79-198 Research Training: History
Fall and Spring: 9 units
This course is part of a set of 100-level courses offered by Dietrich College departments as independent studies for second-semester freshmen and first- or second-semester sophomores in the College. In general, these courses are designed to give students some real research experience through work on a faculty project in ways that might stimulate and nurture subsequent interest in research participation. Faculty and students devise a personal and regularized meeting and task schedule. Each Research Training course is worth 9 units, which generally means a minimum for students of about 9 work-hours per week. Prerequisites/restrictions: For Dietrich College students only; minimum cumulative QPA of 3.0 (at the time of registration) required for approved entry; additional prerequisites (e.g., language proficiency) may arise out of the particular demands of the research project in question. By permission of the relevant professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students sign up for these courses through both the History Department and the Dean's Office.
79-200 Introduction to Historical Research & Writing
Fall and Spring: 9 units
This course introduces students to methods and materials that historians use to study the past. Its goals are: first, to familiarize students with ways that historians think about their research, how they carry it out, and how they debate findings with other historians; second, to train students in "best practices" for doing historical research in primary and secondary sources. We discuss how to ask questions about the past and develop a one-semester research topic, find appropriate primary and secondary sources, take notes from those sources, and write a paper that answers an original question using skills we have studied. In the Spring 2019 semester, we will use the topic of the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting to focus the class. Although Western beliefs in witchcraft and "devil worship" dated back to antiquity, the 16th and 17th centuries witnessed the "Great European Witch-Hunt," which cost the lives of thousands across Europe and in its American colonies. Ever since, historians have struggled to explain why fears of witchcraft suddenly became so acute in this period. And although the witch-hunts in early modern Europe and its colonies gradually came to an end, beliefs in witchcraft persist into the modern era and, in many parts of the world today, continue to generate campaigns of popular violence against alleged perpetrators. In this course, we'll examine both primary historical sources and secondary scholarship to explore competing interpretations of this complex historical puzzle. At the end of the term, students will submit a final 10-15 page research paper on a topic of their choice related to the themes of the course.
79-201 Introduction to Anthropology
Intermittent: 9 units
Cultural anthropologists "make the strange familiar and the familiar strange," attempting to understand the internal logic of cultures which might, at first glance, seem bizarre to us, while at the same time probing those aspects of our own society which might appear equally bizarre to outsiders. The goal of this course is to raise questions basic to the study of culture and social relationships in a multitude of contexts. We will also discuss the anthropologist's relationship to the people s/he studies, and the responsibilities inherent in that relationship. The readings have been chosen to focus on topics that have long captured anthropologists' attention and that continue to be intensely debated: social inequality, race, colonialism, body, kinship, gender, history and memory, social lives of things, affect, globalization, and migration and humanitarianism. They reveal the diversity of human practices and experiences across time and space, as well as the wide range of approaches to these practices within the field of anthropology. This class will follow the format of a seminar. I will introduce the readings by placing them within larger debates, but the course will mainly be discussion-oriented. Through written work, readings, films, and in-class discussion, we will examine how anthropology makes us more aware of our own culturally-ingrained assumptions, while broadening our understanding of human experiences.
79-202 Flesh and Spirit: Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines European history from the Black Death to the French Revolution, a period known to history as the "early modern" period. That is, it marks a period in European history that was not quite medieval, and yet not quite modern. Many features of modern society, such as the nation-state, free-trade economies, religious pluralism, scientific rationalism, and secular culture trace their origins to the early modern era, yet the period was also marked by important continuities with the Middle Ages. During this course, we will explore how Europeans re-imagined their world in its transition from the medieval to the modern. Topics to be considered will include the "renaissance" of the arts, the problems of religious reform, exploration and colonialism, the rise of science, and the expansion of the state. Through these developments, we will focus on Europeans' changing notions of the human body, the body politic, and the natural world, as well as their re-interpretations of the proper relation between the human and the divine, the individual and the community, and the present and the past.
79-203 Social and Political Change in 20th Century Central and Eastern Europe
Intermittent: 9 units
Organized as a combination of lectures and seminar discussions, this course explores the political, intellectual, social, and cultural changes occurring in 19th century and 20th century Central and Eastern Europe. It begins with an examination of the emergence of nationalist movements during the 19th century, to then explore the darker side of romantic nationalisms as they unfolded into the radical political ideologies such as socialism and fascism of the interwar period. We will ask to what extent these earlier histories continued to subtly influence post-1945 Central and Eastern Europe under socialism. The second part of the course will focus on the social and political transformations occurring at distinct moments in the history of the Soviet bloc: the 1950s Stalinization, the 1960s De-Stalinization, the emergence of the more subtle forms of dissent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, and the revolutions of 1989. Course materials include not only historical and anthropological readings, but also historical documents, memoirs, and documentaries. The assignments include: mandatory attendance of lectures, regular participation in the class discussions, weekly diary entries and two take-home exams (midterm and final). The diary entries aim to make you better understand the mentalities and social and political changes at an individual level, by vicariously experience the events through "your" historical character. At the beginning of the semester, you will be assigned two specific characters that you will "impersonate" throughout the semester (one at the time), bringing in material from lectures and readings to bear on "your" character's own experiences.
79-205 20th Century Europe
Intermittent: 9 units
This course surveys the history of Europe from 1900 to 2000 and beyond. While it covers major political trends and social changes in 20th century Europe, it concentrates on the following themes: The end of empire and the rise of the nation-state and ethno-nationalism in Europe; the extraordinary violence of two World Wars and the Spanish Civil War — and their continuing impact on politics, society, and culture; social and political movements/regimes of the far right and of the socialist/communist left; the rise and crisis of the European welfare state and of the European Union; the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia; conflicts within the European Union such as Brexit and the crisis between Spain & Catalonia; contemporary debates over historical memory of the Spanish Civil War, World WWII and the Balkan wars; cultural and political controversies surrounding Islam and Muslims and re-emergent antisemitism in Europe.
79-206 Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will examine European legal institutions and their role in defining and enforcing societal norms of conduct and belief in the early modern era (c. 1400-1800). European society was fundamentally transformed in this period of transition between the medieval and the modern eras, and the laws and legal systems that exist in the Western world today reflect those influences at the deepest levels. This course will focus on how shifting definitions of "crime" and "punishment" reflected prevailing societal attitudes and anxieties toward perceived acts of deviance and persons on the margins of society. Assigned readings will examine the evolution of early modern European criminal court systems, the investigation and punishment of crime, the criminalization of social deviance (witches, vagrants, religious minorities and other outcasts), and the legal enforcement of sexual morality and gender roles. We will address not only the historical significance of these developments, but their influence upon current debates concerning social deviancy, policing, torture, and criminal punishment.
79-208 Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting
Intermittent: 9 units
Between the late 15th and the early 18th centuries, many Europeans became convinced that their society was threatened by a conspiracy of diabolic witches. Although Western beliefs in witchcraft and "devil worship" dated back to antiquity, the 16th and 17th centuries witnessed the most intense campaign of witch-hunting in all of Europe's history. Before it was over, the "Great European Witch-Hunt" of the early modern era cost the lives of thousands across Europe and in its colonies. And although the witch-hunts in early modern Europe and its colonies gradually came to an end, beliefs in witchcraft persist into the modern era and, in many parts of the world today, continue to generate campaigns of popular violence against alleged perpetrators. This course examines witchcraft beliefs and witch-hunting in historical perspective in both their European and colonial contexts. In addition to the early modern witch-hunts, it will address modern witchcraft beliefs and consider witch-hunting as a global problem today. It will focus on the origin and rationale of witch beliefs, the factors driving the timing and intensity of witch-hunts, and the patterns of accusations. Throughout, we will examine the many historical and regional variations in witch beliefs and prosecutions and explore how they reflect major social and cultural issues such as the relationship between "popular" and "elite" culture; religious change; state formation; gender and patriarchy; and the rationalization of law, medicine, and science. This course satisfies one of the elective requirements for the Religious Studies minor.
79-209 The Art of Historical Detection
Intermittent: 6 units
How do historians determine how and why episodes in the past transpired? This course takes students behind the scenes and acquaints them with the techniques by which historians practice their craft in interpreting historical events. Using dramatic case studies in American history, we will examine a wide array of tools and sources at the historian's disposal, among them oral evidence, photographs and images, maps, official documents, memoirs, psycho-history, media and popular culture. Through in-class workshops and solo and group assignments, students will experiment with different methods of historical analysis using a variety of source material. Students will develop a familiarity with the historian's toolbox and a new-found appreciation for the painstaking efforts that go into producing the history books they may otherwise take for granted.
79-210 Identity, Nationhood, and State
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is ONLY offered at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar. This broad introductory course to general history through the prism of literature and politics aims at appreciating humanism and identity from the distant past on. 1. It discusses the significance of language and speech aptitude as a primordial and universal trait upon which rests the possibility of association and organization. This aptitude has made humans history conscious. 2. It explores some basic facts about the pre-19th century Western tradition of governance and the place of the individual within it, along with the expansion of these European states into the world in the aftermath of the maritime navigation and colonial conquest. An emphasis is placed on the pivotal European movements of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. The first, with its humanism in the 16th century, promoted a sense of identity associated with the language spoken in ones area and the rise from the old medieval notion of suzerainty of the local gentry over local communities to the sovereignty of the monarchy of the area, thereby the nation state. The second, the 18th century Enlightenment, led to reforms and revolutions. These transformations, including the growth of literacy, have significantly marked Europe and subsequently the rest of the world that experienced European domination or influence. All this has resulted in the making of broad communities of European language speakers who are not of European descent.
79-211 Modern Southeast Asia: Colonialism, Capitalism, and Cultural Exchange
Intermittent: 9 units
When you hear the term "Southeast Asia," what comes to mind? The Vietnam War? The ruins of the Angkor civilization? Rich culinary traditions? Or perhaps your own ethnic heritage? However you imagine it, Southeast Asia is an incredibly diverse and dynamic region that has long been integral to world affairs and whose importance continues to grow. This course offers a wide-ranging survey of Southeast Asia's peoples, their histories, and some of the issues they face today. Together we will explore the region as a "global crossroads," where the world's religions, economies, cultures, and politics come together in generative, sometimes traumatic, and often surprising ways.
79-213 The American Railroad: Decline and Renaissance in the Age of Deregulation
Intermittent: 6 units
Railroads in the USA are often considered as a subject for nostalgia or public sector failure, an image largely based on passenger service. However, the USA's private sector freight rail industry is considered a model for the world as the result of its renaissance following deregulation in 1980. This is a "stealth" industry whose history and economics are both intertwined and complex. Starting with the development of the first U. S. railroads, students will gain a basic understanding of the industry's history and economics, with special attention to the past half-century. In addition, students will participate in small group research projects in particular areas of special interest — for example, economic history, industry culture, network economics, utility regulation or transportation policy.
79-214 Paris in Revolt: History, Literature, Film
Intermittent: 6 units
This course asks a simple question with a complex answer: Why is it that the modern history of the French capital has been so marked by uprisings that challenged and sometimes overthrew the existing political regime? What accounts for this political instability? We answer these questions by studying a selection of well-known examples of Paris uprisings from the period of great the French Revolution (began 1789) through May, 1968. We examine major causes of the revolt, the kinds of people who led and followed it, and its consequences in the short- and longer-term. We also learn about the "culture" that surrounded political and social movements through eyewitness accounts, speeches, literature and the arts. While we are doing this, we'll try to learn as much as we can about continuities and changes in the city itself — its population and built environment. Coursework will consist of attending lectures, responding orally and in writing to assigned readings and several films, and a comparative final essay.
79-216 Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire
Intermittent: 3 units
This course examines the rise, rule, and impact of the Mongol Empire on global history. In the 13th century, Eurasia was shaken by a force contemporary chroniclers likened to an apocalypse. Within a few decades, horsemen under the command of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan swept out of the northeastern steppe to establish the largest land empire the world would ever know. Few events in world history have inspired such fear and awe. However, the Mongol period also ushered in the so-called pax Mongolica, the first period of sustained contact and exchange across Eurasia as people, technologies, arts, biodiversity, and ideas spread throughout the Mongol domains and beyond. Questions to be examined include: Who was Genghis Khan and how did he lead a little known nomadic people to conquer much of the known world? What cultural and technological innovations aided the Mongols rise and conquest? How did Genghis's successors rule their vast, diverse domains? What role did religion play in Mongol Eurasia? Why did a unified Mongol empire fall apart in such a relatively short period of time? And how did the Mongols and their empire help shape the world we live in today?
79-217 The War in Vietnam
Intermittent: 6 units
The Vietnam War, the first war to be televised, is one of the most controversial and influential events in the post-World War II history of the United States. A limited advisory role for U. S. troops to help the pro-Western government of South Vietnam fight off a Communist insurgency soon escalated to a full-scale American-led war against North Vietnam. This provoked widespread domestic protest and resistance to compulsory military service - "the Draft." Eventually, the strategic basis for U. S. foreign policy in general came into question. The U. S. withdrew combat troops and much financial support in 1973; Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) fell to the North in 1975 as Americans watched from their living rooms. This course covers war in Vietnam from the intervention of the U. S. in the mid-1950s through the fall of Saigon in 1975, with particular emphasis on the last decade, which saw the "Americanization" and subsequent "Vietnamization" of the war under the administrations of presidents Johnson and Nixon. It examines the military and political aspects of the war, as well as some of the social and cultural consequences in the U. S. as a result.
79-218 Tiananmen Square and Popular Protest in Modern China
Intermittent: 6 units
Thirty years ago, on June 4, 1989, the world watched as tanks rolled into Beijing's Tiananmen Square ending what had been six weeks of student-led protest calling for reform of the Chinese Communist Party and its policies. This was not the first time students had gathered at Tiananmen to demand political change. This year also marks the centennial anniversary of the student-led protests that launched the May 4th Movement, a social and intellectual revolution that fundamentally changed China and helped birth both the Nationalist Party of Chiang Kaishek and Communist Party of Mao Zedong. This class examines the causes and consequences of popular protest in twentieth-century China. While the focus is on the protests of 1919 and 1989, we will also look at other popular protests, including the Cultural Revolution (1966-1969), Democracy Wall Movement (1979), and post-Tiananmen protests among workers, farmers, ethnic minorities (especially Tibetans and Uyghurs), and others.
79-220 Screening Mexico: Mexican Cinema, 1898 to Present
Intermittent: 6 units
This mini-course is a survey of Mexican cinema from its origins in silent film to the present. Some areas of focus will include documentary footage and films of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), films of the Mexican "Golden Age" (1930-1960), and "New Mexican Cinema" from the 1990s forward. We will explore cinema as a window on Mexico's changing social, cultural and political dynamics, and as a way to probe such topics as: changing conceptions of Mexican identity; political critique and revolutionary movements; and urbanization, migration and the "drug war" in contemporary Mexico. **Please Note**: in addition to two weekly class meetings, this course also includes a required weekly film screening at 6:30 on Tuesday evenings.
79-223 Mexico: From the Aztec Empire to the Drug War
Intermittent: 9 units
This course provides a survey of Mexican history and culture over a variety of periods, from the rise of the Aztec empire, to Spanish conquest and colonization, to national independence, to the Mexican Revolution and contemporary Mexico. A wide range of topics will be addressed, such as: race, ethnicity, and indigeneity; state formation and politics; national identity and the politics of memory; migration and the border; and the drug war. Students will discuss historical and anthropological scholarship on Mexico, but will also consider cultural documents of various kinds, like Mexican music, art, and food.
79-224 Mayan America
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will explore the history and culture of the Maya from before the European conquest of the Americas to the present. After a survey of ancient Mayan society and of the European conquest of Mexico and Central America, we will consider the experience of the indigenous Maya under Spanish colonial rule and under the rule of Latin American nation-states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Finally, we will cover the recent history of political conflict and military repression in Guatemala, the Zapatista uprising in southern Mexico, and increasing Mayan migration to the United States. Drawing upon the varied perspectives of archaeology, cultural anthropology, and social history, this course will explore several recurrent themes in Mayan America, such as: conquest, adaptation and resistance; indigenous political and communal organization; popular religion, prophecy and apocalypse; Mayan cultural and ethnic identity; "tradition" and "modernity"; state violence and human rights; and indigenous political and cultural mobilization at the local, national, and transnational levels.
79-225 West African History in Film
Intermittent: 9 units
West Africa is a vibrant, diverse, and rich region, which has had the largest influence demographically, culturally, socially, and linguistically on the Americas. This course will examine West Africa's history from the pre-colonial to the independence period. It will cover such topics as states vs. stateless societies, urbanization, trans-Saharan trade, Islamization, European interaction, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, cash crops, missionaries, nationalism, and independence. Students will understand how this dynamic region changed over time as a result of internal factors, such as state formation, as well as external factors, interaction with Muslim and European traders. Students will also be exposed to the variety of sources used by historians to reconstruct West Africa's rich history. The course will use historical films by some of West Africa's most famous filmmakers, such as Ousman Sembene, to illustrate the diversity of the region and its historical change over time. Course includes two class meetings and mandatory film screenings on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:20pm.
79-226 African History: Earliest Times to 1780
Intermittent: 9 units
A beginning point for this course will be the question: how do historians reconstruct history when few written sources are available? Breaking disciplinary boundaries, the course will draw on linguistics, "climateology," archaeology, and anthropology to reconstruct dynamic social, cultural, political, and economic processes in Africa before the arrival of Europeans and before the availability of written source materials. When written sources are available, the course will interrogate them to illuminate the changes that occurred in African societies during the early period of contact with Europeans. Lastly, by focusing on long-term processes, such as economic specialization, urbanization, and Islamization, the course will begin to put the slave trade in an African-centered perspective.
79-227 Modern Africa: The Slave Trade to the End of Apartheid
Intermittent: 9 units
The course is designed to give students an understanding and appreciation of African history and culture from the "inside out." Though it deals with the period of European expansion in Africa, it is centered on African language/ ethnic groups, villages, and individuals as historical actors who daily make collective and personal decisions to pass down, innovate, and borrow practices, technology, spiritual systems, etc. in the face of social, political, and economic realities. The course is also designed to get students thinking critically about how historians select and interpret sources to construct and reconstruct history at these different levels.
79-228 The Civil Rights Movement and the World
Intermittent: 9 units
The American civil rights movement was a global phenomenon. Throughout the twentieth century, the fight for racial justice involved multiple areas of conflict that transcended national boundaries. The purpose of this course is to understand how global events and crises influenced the ways in which activists understood political power. How did civil rights activists pioneer a global identity for American blacks and create solidarities with oppressed people worldwide, and how did these solidarities in turn influence activism at home? Answering these questions will require us to analyze various ideologies and political movements and their impact on anti-racist activism within the United States. World historical events, and their impact on the civil rights movement, will cover the 1917 Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascist Europe, the Second World War, the United Nations, the Cold War, and today's struggle for racial justice. By examining these issues, this class will shed light on the dynamic geo-political and socio-economic conditions that shaped the civil rights movement as well as today's activism.
79-229 Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1880-1948
Intermittent: 9 units
This course considers the historical origins of the contemporary Arab-Israeli conflict, beginning with the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Arab nationalism and Zionism in the late 19th century and emphasizing the period of the British Mandate over Palestine (1920-1948). Students will move beyond textbooks to explore primary source documents, maps, photographs, biographies and historical testimony. For five weeks in the middle of the semester, students will immerse themselves in an extended role-playing exercise, "The Struggle for Palestine, 1936," an elaborate simulation game linked to Barnard College's "Reacting to the Past" program. Students portraying British examiners, specific Arab and Zionist characters and journalists will recreate the activities of the 1936 Royal Commission which came to Palestine to investigate the causes of an Arab rebellion and Arab-Jewish strife. This historical reenactment experience constitutes an exciting pedagogical opportunity for delving deeper into the topic material than regular coursework allows. All the role-playing will take place during regular class time, but students should be aware that they will need to devote outside time for preparation and research. Outstanding attendance is also a requirement. Regular classroom activity resumes at the end of the five weeks. The goal of the course is for students to develop a nuanced understanding of the varying goals and priorities of all the actors in Mandate Palestine. Running throughout the course is the question, was peace ever possible?
79-230 Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1948
Intermittent: 9 units
This course begins in 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Palestinian dispersal and the first of many Arab-Israeli wars, and continues up to the present time. The examination of the many facets of the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts is accompanied by attention to the search for peace and its frustration. We will also situate this conflict within the framework of the war, chaos and religious extremism currently consuming the Middle East. The course culminates in an intensive role-playing game in which students conduct simulated Arab-Israeli negotiations. For the role-playing we will be partnering with Arab and Israeli students from universities in the Middle East: real-time negotiations will take place via Facebook and continue via various social media. The simulation game experience constitutes an exciting pedagogical experiment and an opportunity for delving deeper into the topic material than regular coursework allows.
79-232 Arabian Peninsula Environmental History
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is ONLY offered at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar. This course will look at the history of the Arabian Peninsula from a fresh perspective, examining human/environmental interactions over a long stretch of time. In contrast to the way that Arabian history is typically taught in academia, this course will take the pre-Islamic period of Arabian history (al-jahiliyya) as seriously as the post-Islamic period, and will focus on continuities between the two periods as much as discontinuities. What is more, while conventional histories of the Arabian Peninsula focus on political and religious affairs, this course will try to understand Arabian history on a deeper level by focusing on the lifeways of the Arabian people, including pastoralism, oasis "bustan garden" agriculture, fishing and pearling, and shifting patterns of long-distance trade. What is more this course will draw heavily from material from other disciplines, especially medical sciences, to better understand patterns of change over time. Finally, this course will examine to what degree these older patterns of human/landscape interactions are still valid for the Arabian Peninsula today, which has undergone a transformation almost unparalleled in world history due to the discovery natural gas and oil.
79-233 The United States and the Middle East since 1945
Intermittent: 9 units
This course begins by introducing students to the Middle Eastern priorities and policies which the US inherited from the British in the aftermath of the Second World War. The focus then moves to American interests and involvement in the region from the Cold War through today, with special attention to recurrent historical themes. Topics include the US role in the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace process, the role of oil, politics and conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the impact of 9/11 on American foreign policy in the Middle East, and selected case studies of US political and military intervention there. Readings and discussion progress with a dual goal in mind: to understand American foreign policy interests in the Middle East, and to understand the forces and nuances endemic to the region itself. Students will learn how to analyze primary source documents, such as presidential speeches and UN resolutions. The course culminates in a week-long role-playing exercise in which students portraying NSA members must advise the US President on a policy response to a Middle East crisis.
79-234 Technology and Society
Intermittent: 9 units
How has technology shaped human society? And how have human beings shaped technology in return? This course investigates these questions across history-from stone tools, agriculture, and ancient cities to windmills, cathedrals, and the printing press; from railroads, electricity, and airplanes to atom bombs, the internet, and the dishwasher. In analyzing these tools, we will explore the dynamic relationships between technological systems and the social, political, religious, artistic, and economic worlds in which they emerged. We will also pay particular attention to technology's effects, asking both who benefited from and who was harmed by technological change. By the end of the course, students will be able to reflect critically on how humanity chooses which technologies to exploit and how human societies have been transformed by these choices.
79-235 Caribbean Cultures
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will examine the cultures and societies of the Caribbean focusing on their colonial past, their current positioning in the world, their social structure, cultural patterns and current transnationalism. Using social history, film and music we will explore the topics of race, class, family, gender, religion, national identity and underdevelopment. Comparative research projects will provide concrete instances of the differences and similarities between the Anglo-Caribbean, Franco-Caribbean, and Hispanic Caribbean. This course is open to all students.
79-236 Coming to America: The View from New York City, Past and Present
Intermittent: 6 units
Immigration became a prominent issue in national politics during the 2016 presidential campaign, and a contentious debate around immigration policy has carried forward into the Trump administration. American immigration history is long and complicated, but by pairing it with the history of a particular place (New York City) we can better understand the social, political, and cultural trends that have affected the policies of the United States government, the perceptions of Americans towards newcomers, and the lived experience of immigrants since as early as the 1600s. This course will explore such issues as whether New York, the nation's quintessential city of immigrants, has been a "melting pot" and entry point to the Land of Liberty. Has the city been a place where diverse groups of people from around the world have acculturated and Americanized? Or have immigrants to New York City mainly struggled to find acceptance, maintain their culture and traditions, and gain an economic foothold?
79-237 Comparative Slavery
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will examines the pervasive, world-spanning institution of human slavery. Although the time frame this course deals with is broad - from the rise of complex societies in the ancient world to slavery-like labor systems in the modern era - this class will focus more thoroughly on a few case studies, especially slavery in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, the US, and the Caribbean. These disparate examples will be related to a number of core themes, including race, class, family, gender, religion, national identity and underdevelopment. This course will be co-taught on CMU's Pittsburgh and Qatar campuses.
79-239 The Great Depression in America, 1929-1941
Intermittent: 6 units
Until the "Great Recession" of 2008, it had become virtually unthinkable that the United States would ever again experience a financial downturn coming close to that which followed the stock market crash of 1929. Lasting for more than a decade, the Great Depression affected American life and culture in ways that were both pronounced and profound. This course looks at the multiple ways that American life changed in the decades between the two world wars. It assesses social, cultural, political, economic, and technological changes that, in the midst of deprivation and economic uncertainty, ultimately brought "modernity" to everyday American life. Relating to the Great Depression itself, students will evaluate varying political approaches to the complex financial and social issues wrought by economic downturn, comparing and contrasting Herbert Hoover's local and regional relief focus with Franklin Roosevelt's massive, federally funded New Deal initiatives. In addition, students will analyze first-person narratives from everyday Americans describing their day-to-day experiences. Finally, the course will explore how the Depression became a near-constant cultural focus in this era, reflected in popular movies, music, and works of fiction.
79-240 Development of American Culture
Intermittent: 9 units
This is an introductory survey of American history from colonial times to the present. The course focuses on cultural history instead of the more traditional emphasis on presidents, wars, and memorizing facts or timelines. The major theme of the course is the changing meaning of freedom over three centuries. Required readings include several short books, historical documents, and a study of the concept of freedom. There is no textbook; background facts and events are covered in lectures to provide students with context needed to think about and understand America's cultural history. Assignments include exams and essays.
79-241 African American History: Africa to the Civil War
Intermittent: 9 units
The African American experience had deep roots in the rapid globalization of the world's people during the transatlantic slave trade. Like people of European, Asian, and Latino/Latina descent, Africans were part of the early Great Migrations of people from the Old World to the New. Unlike other ethnic and nationality groups, however, African people arrived in chains and swiftly acquired the legal status of "slaves for life." Was their enslavement inevitable? Was their transformation into commodities complete? Were they able to form viable families, communities, and movements to topple the institution of human bondage? Did they find dependable white allies? Did they Africanize American culture, politics, and economics? How did some 500,000 of these African people become free (some significant property holders) before the Civil War? Focusing on the development of African and African American life from the beginning of the colonial era through the late antebellum years, this course will explore these and many other questions in the lives of the earliest generations of African people on American soil. Based upon a variety of assigned texts, primary and secondary sources, and lectures, students will become familiar with a wide range of intellectual debates in African American history; write a series of short analytical essays; and advance their own well-argued and well-documented analyses of major controversies in both popular and scholarly interpretations of early African and African American life in the United States.
79-242 African American History: Reconstruction to the Present
Intermittent: 9 units
This course explores changes in the African American experience from the end of the Civil War to the emerging era of Donald Trump. The course emphasizes transformations in both inter- and intra-race relations; economic mobility as well as economic inequality; and forms of political engagement and grassroots movements for social change. In Part I, the course opens with an examination of the notion of a "Post-Racial Society" in the United States. This idea emerged in the wake of the Modern Black Freedom Movement and persists to this day as the 21st century unfolds. Part II locates the roots of 20th century black life and history in the emancipation of enslaved people in the years after the Civil War. This segment of the course will not only give close attention to the meaning of emancipation and freedom for black people, but also charts the rise of a new Jim Crow social order by World War I. Third and most important, this course will illuminate the transformation of African American culture, politics, and community under the impact of the 20th century Great Migration; the rise of the urban-industrial working class; increasing residential segregation; growth and expansion of the middle class; and the fluorescence of the Modern Black Liberation Movement. Students will compare the dynamics of the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement with earlier 20th century grassroots social and political movements in African American and U.S. history. Finally, based upon a mix of primary and secondary sources and lectures, students will examine a wide range of intellectual debates in African American history; write a series of short analytical essays; and establish their own unique interpretation of key issues in Black History.
79-243 The Civil War in American Memory
Intermittent: 6 units
The American Civil War remains among the most cherished and fought over stories in American history. This class explores those debates. Was the war fought over slavery? Was the Confederate cause noble? Did the North oppose slavery? Why do Americans flock to reenact the Civil War? What does it mean to fly the Confederate flag? Tackling ongoing debates in the news today, including recent events in Charleston, we'll trace the roots of those events back to the American Civil War. And we'll strive to understand why the war continues to be one of the most defining moments in U.S. history - 150 years later.
79-244 Women in American History
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is a survey. It examines U.S. history through the eyes of women and gender. It begins in the colonial era (1600s) and runs chronologically to the present. It covers topics such as witchcraft, the story of Pocahontas, women's work, motherhood, slavery, and much more. We will look at the lives of individual women, as well as trends among women, paying attention to questions of race and class. At the same time, we will explore changing concepts of gender, meaning ideas about what women are or should be. Finally, the course asks: how different does American history look when we factor in women and gender?
79-245 Capitalism and Individualism in American Culture
Intermittent: 9 units
This small discussion course traces ideas about individualism and capitalism in the U.S., from colonial times to the present. We will focus on three main themes: 1) the relationship between capitalism, work, and identity; 2) changing definitions of success and failure; and 3) the historical origins of students' attitudes toward 1 & 2. In short, we will study the economics and emotions of the American dream: how class, race, gender, occupation, and ambition shape our identities. Readings include "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," studies by Alexis de Tocqueville and Max Weber, writings of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Henry Thoreau, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Andrew Carnegie's classic essay "Gospel of Wealth," Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," and Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers." Grading is based upon a readings journal, participation in discussion, three short essays and a longer final paper.
79-246 Industrial America
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines the transformation of America into an urban industrial society during the 19th and 20th centuries. The transformation of work, culture, and politics will receive close attention, but the course will primarily focus around how workers defined their own labor and changes in the culture of work over time. This course will investigate how race, class, and gender informed workplace relations as well as how immigration and migration changed the nature of American work. Through lecture, discussion, and three short writing assignments we will uncover how workers defined America.
79-247 African Americans, Imprisonment, and the Carceral State
Intermittent: 9 units
The mass incarceration of people of African descent has emerged as one of the most daunting issues in contemporary U.S. society and politics. But too often discussions of this important phenomenon proceeds without sufficient historical perspective. Thus, this course explores the history of African Americans in the nation's prison system from the emancipation of some four million enslaved people following the Civil War through recent times. Specifically, we examine the process by which the nation's prison population shifted from predominantly white inmates during the mid-19th century through the inter-World War years to majority African Americans and other people of color by the closing years of the 20th century. In addition to examining the role of law, policing, and racist social policies and practices, students explore the lived experiences of imprisoned people, with an emphasis on the impact of class and gender as well as racial considerations. Along with selected primary documents, assigned readings include a series of scholarly case studies on the carceral experiences of black men and women in the North and South during the industrial and emerging postindustrial eras in African American and U.S. history. Finally, students will write a series of short essays on particular facets of African American life in the American prison system.
79-249 20th & 21st Century U.S. History
Intermittent: 9 units
[Note: students who have already taken this course under its former title, 79-249, 20th Century U.S. History may not enroll.] The twentieth century marked the rise of the United States as a global power. By the end of the century, the United States had achieved economic, military, and political dominance. The United States also made great strides in expanding political and civil rights for workers, women, African Americans, and gays and lesbians. This course explores the social and cultural implications of these developments on the generations of American people who came of age in the twentieth century. It assesses both the triumphs and tribulations of twentieth-century life. We will analyze continuities, contradictions, and conflicts in American history, especially in regard to the nation's dueling political ideologies: conservatism and liberalism. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between movements for social change and the maintenance of law and order. Topics include: the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and the New Conservatism.
79-256 Sex, Guns, and Rock 'n Roll: Youth Rebellion in 1960s & 1970s Europe
Intermittent: 6 units
Between 1960 and 1980, young Europeans rebelled against the conservatism of their parents and politicians. Heterosexual mores became strikingly looser. Women demanded sexual freedom and abortion rights. In capitalist Paris and in socialist Prague, masses of students challenged their government in the streets. In West Germany and Italy, a minority of radicals took up the gun to bring former Nazis and Fascists to "justice." From The Beatles to The Clash, British bands created variations on rock and roll that were spectacularly popular from London to Moscow. Rebellion took different forms in every country but also became European as activists, musicians, and fans carried ideas about politics and sex, fashions, and music across national boundaries and the "Iron Curtain." The course will mix lectures with discussion of scholarly articles/chapters, a novel, and films. Students will write one 4/5 and one 6/7-page essay based on class readings/films.
79-257 Germany and the Second World War
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines the Second World War from the perspective of the country that was central to it in every way. The course will cover: Hitler's ideology, war plans, and military strategy; the military/technological history of the War in Europe and North Africa; the role of the SS; the Holocaust; the occupation of Europe and Resistance movements; the political, social, and economic history of the Third Reich, including popular opinion, the German Resistance, and the use of slave labor in factories and on farms. Readings will include historical studies, a novel, and a memoir/diary.
79-258 French History: From the Revolution to De Gaulle
Intermittent: 9 units
This survey course looks at French society and culture from the period after the French Revolution (roughly 1815) to the Nazi invasion of 1940. We first look at the multiple impacts of the Revolution on French society. We try to understand some of the lasting features of nineteenth and early-twentieth century France by studying the lives of different social groups including workers, peasants, and members of the elites. We follow the continuing problem of French political instability in the nineteenth century, trying to understand the deep rifts that divided different groups of French people from one another. We look at the devastating impacts of World War One and the Great Depression, and end with the collapse of France in 1940. Coursework is based on the use of works of fiction, film, personal memoirs, and art as well as historians' writings. Written work includes papers and in class tests.
79-259 France During World War II
Intermittent: 9 units
This course surveys French society, economy, and culture in the years 1939 to 1945 focusing on problems that the war and German Occupation presented. Understanding life under the Occupation and the collaborationist government in Vichy requires us to look back at major political, social and economic conditions of the 1930s that divided the French people. We use film and personal memoirs as well as recent historical studies to recreate and understand life during the war, and try to answer such questions as: What accounts for the French military collapse of 1940? Which groups of French men and women benefitted from collaboration with Germany? How did France's collaboration in the Holocaust come about? We also consider how the French people have tried to come to terms with their wartime experience since the 1940s. Classes include lecture and discussion as well as several in-class writing responses to the reading and lectures.
79-260 Adolf Hitler
Intermittent: 9 units
Who was Adolf Hitler? What motivated him? What did he believe? Why did Germans support him? How did he rise to power? How did he use his power? This course covers the biography of Hitler, placing his life in the political and economic context of his era. Through a combination of lectures and discussion, the class will consider: Hitler and his political movement, Hitler and his people, Hitler and his enemies, Hitler and his war, Hitler and his crimes, Hitler and his place in history. We will discuss his upbringing, personality, and strengths and weaknesses as a political leader and military strategist. We will study his worldview, including his ethno-nationalism, antisemitism, and anti-Communism. We will examine his role in the origins and implementation of the Holocaust. Readings will include works by historians, excerpts from Mein Kampf, and the writings of his fellow Nazis and other contemporaries. The class will also analyze the portrayal of Hitler in documentary and feature films. Students will write three papers: two papers of 5-6 pages each, based on in-class readings/films, and a final research paper of 12 pages, based on six outside readings.
79-261 The Last Emperors: Chinese History and Society, 1600-1900
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is an introduction to late-imperial "Chinese" history and society with a focus on the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). We begin by examining the Qing not just as the last of China's imperial dynasties but also as an early-modern, multi-ethnic empire that included Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang. In fact, China's "last emperors" were actually Manchus from northeast Asia. Secondly we investigate the social, economic, intellectual and demographic developments that transformed late-imperial China prior to the coming of the West. Thirdly, we examine Qing responses to a string of nineteenth-century disruptions, including but not limited to western imperialism, that threatened to not only end the dynasty but also challenged the very tenants of Chinese civilization. Lastly, we will look at the fall of China's imperial system, the end of empire, and the post-imperial struggle to reformulate the state and re-imagine society for the twentieth century.
79-262 Modern China: From the Birth of Mao ... to Now
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is an introduction to major themes in twentieth-century Chinese history, including the transition from empire to nation, revolution, social change and modernization, western and Japanese imperialism, the rise of the party-state, Chinese socialism, economic liberalization and the so-called "Chinese Dream." The first half of the class is devoted to the period between the fall of the imperial system and the founding of the People's Republic of China (1911-1949). If the victory of the Chinese Communist Party and development of the socialist state are to be considered in historical context, it is necessary to first understand the political, cultural, economic and intellectual currents that immediately preceded them. During the second half of the course, we will examine the Maoist period (1949-1976). We will investigate the Chinese Communist Party as both a state-building institution and an engine of social transformation, and consider the tensions these dual roles produced. Finally, we will look at the Reform Period (1978-present), and reflect on a newly robust China's attempts to come to terms with its own recent past and what the consequences might be for both China and the world.
79-263 Mao and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is an in-depth examination of China's "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" (1966-1976), one of the most impactful and bewildering events of the twentieth century. It started when Mao Zedong announced that enemies had infiltrated the Communist Party that he led. Soon students were attacking their teachers, teenagers in army uniforms were raiding homes and destroying remnants of "feudal" and "bourgeois" culture, and armed fighting had erupted among factions of ordinary Chinese people. Why? What were the political and social dynamics of Maoist China that propelled it along this violent trajectory? What was everyday life like during the Cultural Revolution, an event that could be both terrifying and empowering for those that lived through it? What were the social, political and cultural consequences? How has the Cultural Revolution been judged in China and the west, and are their other possible interpretations? This class will explore these questions from a variety of perspectives and sources, including documents, literature, memoir, film, academic writings, visual arts and performing arts.
79-264 Tibet and China: History and Propaganda
Intermittent: 6 units
This course is an introduction to the "Tibet Question," the dispute over whether Tibet should be part of China, an independent nation-state, or, as the current Dalai Lama now advocates, something in between. "History" often serves as the battleground on which competing visions of the nation are fought - who should be included and excluded, where "natural" boundaries begin and end. This almost always requires a process of simplification in which inconvenient details are forgotten or repurposed in the service of national agendas. The "Tibet Question" is a telling example. In this class, we investigate the historical relationship between "China" and "Tibet" from the 13th century through the present, and note the ways advocates on both sides of the "Tibet Question" have constructed historical narratives (propaganda) in support of their political positions. We will also discuss the prospects for a political solution and consider the lessons the "Tibet Question" may hold for understanding other outstanding "historical" disputes.
79-265 Russian History: From the First to the Last Tsar
Intermittent: 9 units
This course covers a broad sweep of Russian history beginning with the first settlements of tribal nomads in the ninth century and ending with the fall of the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty in 1917. Our course profiles how the Russian state was formed and how its territory expanded to become a mighty empire. Over the centuries, we make the acquaintance of Mongol marauders, greedy princes, and peasant rebels, as well as Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and the long succession of reformers and reactionaries who occupied the Russian throne. We explore terrorism, general strikes, and development of the revolutionary movement that ultimately brought down the Tsar in 1917.
79-266 Russian History and Revolutionary Socialism
Intermittent: 9 units
This course covers an epic set of events in Russian history from the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 to the death of Stalin in 1953. Spanning almost a century of upheaval and transformation, it examines what happened when workers and peasants tried to build a new society built on social justice and economic equality. Learn about Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and other revolutionary thinkers and dreamers. The course surveys the revolutions in 1917, the Civil War and the Red victory, the ruthless power struggles of the 1920s, the triumph of Stalin, the costly industrialization and collectivization drives, the "Great Terror," and the battle against fascism in World War II. It ends with the death of Stalin, and the beginning of a new era of reform.
79-267 The Soviet Union in World War II: Military, Political, and Social History
Intermittent: 9 units
On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. German troops quickly reached the hills above Moscow, surrounded Leningrad in the longest running siege in modern history, devastated the country's economy, and slaughtered millions of Soviet civilians. Over 26 million Soviet citizens died in the war. Eventually, the Red Army came back from defeat to free the occupied territories and drive Hitler's army back to Berlin. Using history, films, poetry, veterans' accounts, documentaries, and journalism, this course surveys the great military battles as well as life on the home front. It highlights the rise of fascism, the Stalinist purges of the Red Army, and the Nazi massacres of Soviet Jews, peasants, and partisans. Occasional evening film screenings required.
79-268 World War I: The Twentieth Century's First Catastrophe
Intermittent: 9 units
This course offers a comprehensive retrospective of the First World War (1914-1918), focusing primarily on the American experience. The course will cover the military, political, social, and business history of the war. Guiding questions will be: Why did the US enter the war? How did the country adjust its economic output to rapidly field an Army of nearly five million? How did the war impact the country's immigrant and African-American communities? What role did women play in the war effort? What was the war's legacy on American culture and politics? Students will read approximately five secondary sources over the course of the semester, and engage with primary sources including songs and records, soldiers' and welfare workers' letters and diaries, and government and welfare organizations' documents. Students will complete three 7-8 page essays and a longer 10 page final essay.
79-269 Russian History: From Socialism to Capitalism
Intermittent: 9 units
Beginning with Stalin's death in 1953, this course will focus the efforts of a new group of Soviet leaders to eliminate the repression of the Stalinist period and to create a more democratic socialism. It will examine the reforms of Khrushchev and the reaction against them, the long period of Brezhnev's rule, and the hopeful plans of Gorbachev. Finally, it will survey Gorbachev's loss of control, the collapse of socialism and the Soviet Union, and the growth of "wild west" or "gangster" capitalism. We will look at the rise of the oligarchs and the impact of the capitalist transition on ordinary people. The course provides essential background for anyone interested in understanding Russia's place in the world today and its relationship with the West.
79-270 Anti-Semitism Then and Now: Perspectives from the Middle Ages to the Present
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will examine the history of anti-Jewish hatred and violence from the Middle Ages through the Holocaust. The course will focus on representative case studies, texts, and films. These will include pre-modern incidents of "fake news" such as the medieval rumor of "blood libel" that unleashed massacres and mass expulsions of Jews from countless communities. In examining the rise of modern anti-Semitism we shall focus on debates over Jewish assimilation and citizenship and consider the popular impact of the print media's dissemination of conspiracy theories of Jewish world domination, including the infamous forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." We will also examine cases of mass anti-Jewish violence, known as pogroms, in Eastern Europe and Russia, and the genocidal onslaught against European Jewry by the National Socialist regime. Finally, we will discuss the resurgence of anti-Semitism in contemporary Europe.
79-275 Introduction to Global Studies
Spring: 9 units
We live in an increasingly interconnected world, one in which our everyday actions have repercussions across vast distances. To understand this ever-denser web of connections, we must think beyond simplistic accounts of globalization as a uniformly positive, negative, or homogenizing process. Economic crisis, impoverishment, rising inequality, environmental degradation, pandemic disease, and irredentist movements are just as much a part of the story as are technological innovation, digital communication, global supply chains, cultural exchange, the promotion of human rights, and the rise of cosmopolitan values. This course aims to equip you with a conceptual toolkit for thinking critically and holistically about the many dimensions of globalization. By examining how globalization connects and shapes the everyday lives of people around the world, including our own, we will establish a foundation both for your advanced coursework in Global Studies and for your lifelong education as a globally aware professional and citizen.
79-276 Beyond the Border
Intermittent: 6 units
In this course we will consider the historical emergence and transformation of the U.S.-Mexico border, as much as an idea as a physical boundary. Our explorations will be far-ranging: from the initial encounters of Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés with indigenous populations, to social, cultural and political dynamics of the borderlands in subsequent centuries; from the experiences and practices of cross border migrants, to contemporary immigration debates and policies surrounding migration, border control and walling, and the deportation of unauthorized migrants.
79-277 From Venice to Chicago: How "The Ghetto" Came to America
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will explore the genealogy of the term "ghetto". For most Americans, "ghetto" probably makes them think of poor urban neighborhoods, or of Jews living under Nazi oppression. Most do not know that the first ghetto was established 500 years ago, to keep Jews separate from Catholics. After quickly reviewing how ghettos spread throughout early modern Europe, the course will shift its focus to the Americas. We will examine when and how the term "ghetto" arrived in the United States, and how the use and application of the term changed before the 1930s. For the majority of the course we will study how "ghetto" became associated with black urban neighborhoods, and what role local, state, and federal governments played in forming postwar American ghettos. By the end of the course students should better understand the origins of current urban policy and will be prepared to critique and make arguments about how urban policy is often used as a political tool.
79-278 How (NOT) to Change the World
Intermittent: 9 units
Everyone, it seems, wants to "change the world." Aspiring to enact positive change is what motivates me as a professor and, I suspect, what has drawn many of you to pursue higher education. But what form do our noble aspirations take in practice? What assumptions do we bring with us when we set out to change the world and with what (unintended) consequences? How do others go about pursuing change and how might we engage with their efforts? In this course, we will critically examine a diverse set of attempts to bring about change, taking time to interrogate the cultural values and social structures that shape them. These will include some of our own engagements (e.g., campus activism, volunteering abroad), those of nearby communities (e.g., regional environmental-justice activism), and some that may be more distant from our everyday lives (e.g., Indigenous resurgence). Applying concepts from anthropology and critical social theory, we will consider examples from around the world while engaging with diverse perspectives, including those of scholars, practitioners, and activists.
79-279 Comparative Study of Nationalism Case Studies: USA, Arabia, South Africa
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is offered only at Carnegie Mellon's campus in Qatar. This course, dealing with a significant historical question of the past century, will enable students to develop a deeper understanding of the origins of many contemporary states as well as problems in former colonies. Participants will work individually or in teams on research papers pertaining to their chosen countries.
79-280 Coffee and Capitalism
Intermittent: 9 units
[Note: students who have taken the mini course, 79-280, Brewing Revolution? Coffee and Social Change from Adam Smith to Starbucks, may not enroll.] What role has coffee played in connecting people and places to capitalist markets and consumer cultures? What are the economic, social, and environmental consequences of these connections? How did espresso change from an "ethnic drink" to something served at McDonalds? Why do college students (and professors!) hang out in coffee shops? This course will answer these questions and more by using coffee to learn about the history of capitalism, and capitalism to understand the history of coffee. We will follow the spread of coffee and capitalism across the globe, with excursions to places where people grow coffee (Ethiopia, Yemen, Indonesia, Brazil, and Costa Rica), and also where they drink coffee (Seattle, Tokyo, Seoul, New York, and Berlin). In the process, we will confront global problems linked to economic inequality, trade, gender relations, and environmental degradation. Course meetings will combine interactive lecture, group discussions, and mini-presentations. Assignments will include journal responses, ethnographic observations, and writing a short script that tells a story about coffee and capitalism.
79-281 Introduction to Religion
Intermittent: 9 units
Religion can be understood from the "outside," through the academic lenses of history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, etc., and from the "inside," listening to the experiences and reflections of those who practice various faiths. The course will examine major religious traditions from several perspectives, and begin to explore such topics as the relationship between religion and science, faith and reason, and religion in public life. This introduction is designed for students with a general interest in religion, as well as those contemplating a Religious Studies minor.
79-282 Europe and the World Since 1800
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will introduce students to topics of historical and contemporary relevance in European society and culture from the nineteenth-century to the present. The course will focus on issues of national and cultural identity with special attention to the situation of inhabitants who have been considered outsiders or "others." We shall examine Europe's place in shaping debates—both new and old—about topics such as: religious, ethnic, and national identity; immigration to and within Europe; Islamophobia; anti-Semitism, and marginalization of the Roma. Throughout the course we shall also consider the shifting meanings that have been assigned to the concept of Europe as well as how these meanings have been contested. In addition to class lectures, students will become familiar with these themes through the reading and discussion of historical and anthropological texts, current political and cultural debates, music and film.
79-283 Hungry World: Food and Famine in Global Perspective
Intermittent: 9 units
The science and technology of the Green Revolution in the second half of the 20th century were heralded as a miracle. Agricultural science promised seeds, peasants, companies, governments, scientists, economists, exporters, and planners would work together to support growing populations, especially in the post-colonial world. The human population on Earth reached 6 billion by the year 2000; 7.6 billion were estimated around 2017. The United Nations predicts 8.6 billion by 2030. Awareness of living in this unique period of human history brought new debates among scholars, practitioners, and planners thinking about the critical role of agriculture and development on Earth. How can we conceptualize, hope, and plan for best possible outcomes for a human population that depends on agriculture and development? How has the legacy of the Green Revolution encouraged (or betrayed) public enthusiasm for innovative fixes? This interdisciplinary course will use methods and case studies drawing on History, Historical Demography, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Regional Studies, Geosciences and Agricultural Sciences, and International Economic Development. If students wish to pursue a particular thematic or regional interest, there will be room in this course to explore particular cases in depth.
79-286 Archaeology: Understanding the Ancient World
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will familiarize students with archaeology as a field, including the techniques and methods archaeologists use to test hypotheses using archaeological data. Secondary objectives are to provide students with a framework for understanding the many archaeological sites that are open to the public across the United States and around the world and to explore problems having to do with the method and practice of archaeological investigation.
79-287 The Mummy's Curse: Uses and Abuses of Archaeology
Intermittent: 6 units
Popular representations of ancient civilizations often present fantastical versions of the past. This course will examine popular topics such as cursed mummies, ancient aliens, lost cities, and other alternative archaeologies to understand how they intersect with academic understandings of archaeology and human history. Students will explore how archaeologists and others answer questions about the past, and how we can evaluate competing interpretations.
79-288 Bananas, Baseball, and Borders: Latin America and the United States
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will use readings, film/video, and popular music to examine the tumultuous and paradoxical relationship between Latin America and the United States from the early 1800s to the present, with an emphasis on Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean during the Cold War era (1945-1989) and its aftermath (1989-2014). During the Cold War years, the United States intervened frequently in Latin America; following the Cold War, a new geopolitics emerged shaped by trade policies, immigration, and illicit drug trades. We will study relationships between U.S. and Latin American governments ("state-state" relations), but we will also consider many other kinds of people and institutions including artists, athletes, businessmen, coffee farmers, consumers, corporations, Hollywood studios, journalists, migrant workers, musicians, rebels, scientists, and tourists. Evaluation will be based on class discussions, quizzes, mini-presentations, and written analysis of historical documents.
79-289 Animal Planet: An Environmental History of People and Animals
Intermittent: 9 units
Why do modern societies go to great lengths to protect some animals and slaughter others? How do people use animals to demarcate boundaries among themselves and between "humans" and "nature?" What are the environmental ramifications of domestication? What role do animals play in visual culture? These are some of the questions that we will seek to answer as we explore the role of human—animal relationships in making the modern world (ca. 1400-present). We will pay particular attention to visual representations of animals across time and cultures. Evaluation will be based on active participation in class discussions, submission of weekly field notes, and a final assignment focused on visual representations of people and animals.
79-290 The Slave Passage: From West Africa to the Americas
Intermittent: 6 units
"The Slave Passage" begins among flourishing, technologically advanced, and globally connected regions of Western Africa before the advent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It tells the painful story of African captives during the Middle Passage, piecing together the historical record to recognize their suffering aboard the slaving vessels and their multiple strategies of resistance. Students will study slave narratives, slave ship logs, and autobiographies of former enslaved people, as well as analyze films and theater performances depicting the Middle Passage and New World enslavement.
79-291 Globalization in East African History
Intermittent: 6 units
Most Americans would identify slavery and colonialism when thinking of Africa's relationship to the rest of the world. While these two institutions have been critically important in shaping Africa's present condition and recent history, they only constitute a fraction of Africa's past and its interaction with the wider world. This course traces globalization to ancient times and seeks to understand it from an African perspective.
79-293 Inward Odyssey
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is ONLY offered at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar. Inward Odyssey will explore world history by examining it through the outward-looking eyes of travel writers, on the assumption that travelogues, though supposedly written about the "other," in fact provide crucial insights about the mindset of the culture that produced them, and often serve as a vehicle for cultural self-exploration or even self-criticism. In terms of content, this course is intended to overlap with World History, Islam and the European World, and US-Arab Encounters. However, this course is intended to be a skills course, designed not to teach students about specific historical periods, but rather to give students the tools they need to conduct their own critical explorations into the historical past.
79-294 Islam on the Main Street in the West since the 18th Century
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is offered only at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar. This introductory course to the humanities and social sciences through the prism of religion and faith, aims at: 1. analyzing the interaction between these central disciplines and at appreciating the significance of Western and Islamic humanism and applying it to the present context of cultural globalism, confrontation and dialogue; 2. becoming familiar with some important literary texts of the modern era; 3. learning how to articulate one's thoughts in a cogent manner. The discussion will stress how religion, a powerful instrument of socialization may, under some circumstances, foster intolerance and inequality or openmindedness and tolerance. Understanding this process may lead to a new appreciation of classical Western writings.
79-295 Archaeology of Technology
Intermittent: 6 units
Archaeology of Technology is a new course that surveys the archaeology of invention and the "immaterial". We live in an increasingly immaterial world, in which many of the artifacts we value are digital, and our relationships are built beyond the confines of face-to-face interactions. This course will explore the relationship between people and the artifacts they create by addressing one big question of equal concern to innovators, archaeologists, and historians alike: Why and how do some inventions spread like wildfire and dramatically transform society?
79-296 Religion in American Politics
Intermittent: 6 units
"Separation of church and state" is an expression widely used but poorly understood. Thomas Jefferson's phrase, which does not actually appear in the Constitution, reminds us that religious institutions are kept separate from government in America, even though religious commitments and motivations have always played an important part in American politics. This course will provide an historical perspective on the role of religion in public life from the late 18th century to the present, including religion's influence on political parties and public policies, and the boundaries set by the Constitution on such activity.
79-298 Mobile Phones & Social Media in Development & Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will examine the ways that social media and the ubiquity of mobile phones with good cameras and Internet access are changing how information about development and human rights is gathered, analyzed, and disseminated. We will ask: What are the new possibilities opened up by these technologies? What are the potential pitfalls—e.g., privacy concerns, risks to sources, or the false confidence that we are now able to know everything about what is happening in the world? What are the biggest technical, cultural, and political challenges in this domain? Who is responding to these challenges and what are they doing? And perhaps most importantly, to what extent can advances in technology ameliorate problems that are fundamentally political in nature?
79-299 From Newton to the Nuclear Bomb: History of Science, 1750-1950
Intermittent: 9 units
This course provides an introduction to the history of modern science in Europe and North America, from the Enlightenment to the mid-twentieth century. Our goal is to understand scientific theories and practices on their own terms and as products of their own contexts, rather than as a progression of developments moving inevitably toward the present. The course seeks to explore both how and why science has become the dominant way of knowing about the natural world, as well as how scientific activity intersects with the history of religion, war, commerce, and the state. Most classes will involve active discussion of texts written by scientists, including Darwin, Einstein, McClintock, Laplace, Joule, Lovelace, and Paley.
79-300 Guns in American History: Culture, Violence, and Politics
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will describe and analyze aspects of the development of law and public policy related to guns in the United States from the colonial era to the present. Students will be expected to synthesize perspectives from social history, ethnography, public health, criminology, policy analysis, and legal scholarship. They will also engage the critical examination of popular culture and media representations of gun cultures and gun violence. Particular emphasis will be placed on changing views about the authority of the government to intervene in the production and ownership of guns, as well as the best way to balance individual and collective interests in a pluralistic society. Assignments may include reading quizzes, in-class debates, policy position papers, and film/documentary reviews.
79-301 History of Surveillance: From the Plantation to Data Capitalism
Intermittent: 6 units
Our awareness of surveillance has been dramatically heightened over the past few years. From Edward Snowden's revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency's data collection infrastructure to the extent to which companies like Facebook and Google monetize our personal information, surveillance has become one of the most controversial political issues of our time. In this course, we will place these developments in context, examining the long history of surveillance in the United States. We will begin with the 18th-century plantation "overseer," who was charged with ensuring the productivity and obedience of slaves under his watch. We will then move on to explore the emergence of commercial surveillance in the 19th century, which sought to gather intelligence on the credit worthiness and moral worthiness of businessmen in a rapidly growing, and increasingly impersonal, economy. Next, we will examine the shifting focus of surveillance from the late 19th century to the present, as it expanded from immigrants and criminals to include industrial workers, political radicals, civil rights activists (most notably Martin Luther King), the poor, and ultimately, all of us. Today, anyone who has a cell phone in their pocket, surfs the Internet, keeps up with friends through social networks, makes purchases with a credit card, uses membership cards, travels, or even just spends time in public spaces ought to assume that their movements, purchasing habits, communication metadata, social connections, and Internet browsing histories are being recorded, stored and analyzed for a variety of governmental and commercial purposes. In the final week of the course, we will debate the implications of these incursions into our public and private lives.
79-302 Killer Robots:The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
Intermittent: 6 units
[Note: students who have already taken this course under its former title 79-302, Drone Warfare and Killer Robots: Ethics, Law, Politics, and Strategy, may not enroll.] Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) have become a central feature of the United States' global counterterrorism strategy since September 11, 2001, and autonomous weapons systems (often called "killer robots" by critics) are increasingly being integrated into military arsenals around the world. According to proponents, drones and autonomous weapons systems are much safer than manned systems, so accurate that they can be used to target individuals and detect threats in real time, and efficient and inexpensive enough to be used for long-term surveillance and protection missions around the globe. According to critics, the use of such systems is problematic because of the obfuscation of historically accepted chains of accountability and responsibility, and the difficulty of translating complex ethical decision making processes into computer code. This course will evaluate these issues through the lenses of law, politics, morality, history, and military strategy.
79-303 Pittsburgh and the Transformation of Modern Urban America
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will focus on the transformations, both positive and negative, of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh region in the period from 1945 through the present. It will explore the following themes: the redevelopment of the city in the Pittsburgh Renaissance; urban renewal and its consequences; the collapse of the steel industry and its impacts; the development of an Eds/Meds service economy; air, land and water environmental issues; and the city's changing demography.
79-304 African Americans in Pittsburgh
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will examine the development of Pittsburgh's African American community from the Great Depression and World War II through the era of deindustrialization during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The course will emphasize not only the ways that a variety of external socioeconomic, cultural, and political forces shaped the history of black people in western Pennsylvania, but also the diverse strategies that African Americans devised to give meaning to their own lives and how these changed over time. Students will read both primary and secondary accounts of Pittsburgh's African American history; write short analytical papers on specific topics or themes; and engage in regular classroom discussions of assigned readings.
79-305 Moneyball Nation: Data in American Life
Intermittent: 9 units
From conducting clinical trials and evaluating prisoners' parole cases to drafting professional ballplayers, we increasingly make decisions using mathematical concepts and models. This course surveys the development of—and resistance to—such tools by grounding them in the recent cultural history of the United States. Focusing on baseball, medicine, and the law, we'll explore how and why Americans have come to believe mathematical and computational methods can solve complicated problems, even in seemingly unrelated moral, political, and social domains. The course encourages students to think critically about the wider implications of these transformations by situating their development historically.
79-306 Fact into Film: Translating History into Cinema
Intermittent: 9 units
From the very beginning, film has provided a window into the past. But how useful are the images we see through that window? For every person who reads a work of history, thousands will see a film on the same subject. But who will learn more? Can written history and filmed history perform the same tasks? Should we expect them to do so? How are these two historical forms related? How can they complement each other? This course will draw examples from across the history of film in order to examine how the medium of film impacts our understanding of facts and events, the ways that film transfers those facts to the screen, and how that process affects the creation of historical discourse. Films may include such titles as The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Saving Private Ryan, World Trade Center, Enemy at the Gates, Lagaan and Hero.
79-307 Religion and Politics in the Middle East
Intermittent: 9 units
This course looks at the historic relationship among Islam, Judaism and Christianity and what they have to say about the nature of government, the state's treatment of religious minorities, and relations among states in the Middle East. We will consider the impact of religion on domestic and foreign policy in selected Middle Eastern countries and communities, the role of religion in fueling conflicts, the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism, the challenge and opportunity this presents to the United States, and the potential for religion to help advance Middle East peace. We will take advantage of the unprecedented upheavals roiling the Middle East since 2011 and use contemporary social media to contact people on the ground in the states we are studying to produce "updates" as to where religion and politics seem to be intersecting at this time.
79-308 Crime and Justice in American Film
Intermittent: 9 units
Films dealing with criminal activities and criminal justice have always been popular at the box office. From the gangsters of the Thirties and the film noir of the Fifties to the more recent vigilante avenger films of Liam Neeson, the film industry has profited from films about crime and its consequences. How those subjects are portrayed, however, tells us a great deal about larger trends in American history and society. Every imaginable type of criminal activity has been depicted on screen, as have the legal ramifications of those acts. But these films raise profound questions. What is the nature of crime? What makes a criminal? Are there circumstances in which crime is justified? How do socioeconomic conditions affect the consequences? How fair and impartial is our justice system? Perhaps most importantly, how do depictions of crime and justice in popular media influence our answers to these questions? This class will utilize a variety of films to discuss the ways in which popular media portrays the sources of crime, the nature of criminals, the court and prison systems, and particular kinds of criminal acts. Films to be screened may include such titles as The Ox-Bow Incident, Out of the Past, 12 Angry Men, Young Mr. Lincoln, Brute Force, The Equalizer, Jack Reacher and Minority Report. By thoroughly discussing these films and related readings we will be able to trace the various changes in attitude towards crime and justice in America over the last century.
79-309 The Chinese Revolution Through Film (1949-2000)
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is about both film and history. It is not a detailed history of film, but rather introduces some key issues of modern Chinese history and examines how that history is treated in film. Most of the films are made in China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) but some are produced in the west. Topics that may be explored include the rise of the Communist Party, life in Maoist China, the Cultural Revolution, the Cold War/anti-imperialism, depictions of China's minority peoples, and the Reform-era under Mao's successors. Along with feature movies, we may view documentaries, propaganda films, TV shows and even music videos. In addition to providing a general history of the period, accompanying readings and assignments explore the social context and methodology of the films while developing critical skills in writing, analysis, and historical imagination.
79-310 Modern U. S. Business History: 1870 to the Present
Intermittent: 9 units
This course explores the development of American business within its economic, political, and social context from the late nineteenth century to the present. Through the lens of "history of capitalism," readings and discussions will explore the interconnections of State and Market in the twentieth century United States that shaped how, why, and where business transactions occurred. Particular attention will be paid to the institutional, social, technological, environmental, labor, and cultural context in which American commerce developed, from the rise of the modern corporation in the late nineteenth century to the emergence of a true information economy in the twenty-first. Students will encounter primary sources, scholarly secondary readings, business case studies, and cultural artifacts as they explore how business functioned and changed over time in an American context.
79-311 PaleoKitchen: Food and Cooking in the Ancient World
Intermittent: 6 units
From home cooking to haute cuisine, people are passionate about food. But what did people eat in the ancient world? This class will center around the origins of the human diet, including human dietary adaptation to diverse ecological and technological situations; social, cultural, behavioral, and ecological factors which influenced diet in ancient societies; and the origins of cuisines around the world.
79-313 "Unwanted": Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Patterns of Global Migration
Intermittent: 6 units
What is home? What does it mean to belong, or not belong? What does it mean to be mobile? Is mobility a privilege or a curse? How do experiences of migration, exile, and displacement shift one's understanding of home? This course will examine the modern patterns of migration, mobility, and displacement, with a particular focus on the US and Europe in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will engage with anthropological and historical analyses of global migrations of people, capital, and ideas; social inequalities; and new forms of political control (surveillance, "profiling," militarization of borders, and race-related forms of rejection and violence). The course will rely on seminar discussions and interactive lectures¿a combination of lecture and discussion, which will productively challenge the students to engage with the material in a critical manner and will help them contextualize and enrich the knowledge they gain from the course readings.
79-314 The Politics and Culture of Memory
Intermittent: 9 units
What is the relationship between an individual person and collective memories? How do societies "remember"? This course proposes an interdisciplinary approach to the relationship between memory and history. It explores various ways in which societies have mobilized their remembrances of the past for political and economic ends in the present; how and whose memory began to matter in a global 20th century; and how individual testimonies have highlighted the role of body, experience, trauma, and nostalgia for writing new, more inclusive and heterogenous histories. We will analyze how the politics of memory intermesh at a local and global scale, via a set of case studies that focus on: the use and erasure of the past in post-1945 Western and Central Europe; political violence, civil war, and reconciliation in post-1990 Guatemala; and the role of remembrance and testimony for claims of moral retribution in the aftermaths of colonialism (the Mau Mau in Kenya). This class will follow the format of a seminar. The professor will give short lectures each week in order to introduce the readings and place them within larger debates, but the course will mainly be discussion-oriented.
79-315 Thirsty Planet: The Politics of Water in Global Perspective
Intermittent: 9 units
Water is necessary for all forms of life on Earth. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to social and political aspects of water, using in-depth case studies that draw on a variety of perspectives. Examples of regional water projects we'll study include traditional tank irrigation in South India; international negotiations along the Nile River; and the U.S. Government in negotiation with native activists and fisheries on the Columbia River. In addition to regional variety, readings will explore a variety of themes, for example, water and gender; water and armed conflict; and water and private companies versus public management. By the end of this course, students should be able to articulate their own answers to these questions: How have global organizations and participants characterized, enacted, and addressed problems of water supply and delivery for those who need it most? How do particular regions reflect global trends in water resource development, and how might these diverge from global trends? How have social and environmental studies in the literature of development come to understand the problem of water? One set of readings is assigned each week. Students should be prepared to discuss each week's readings in a thoughtful way during class meeting time.
79-316 Photography, the First 100 Years, 1839-1939
Intermittent: 9 units
Photography was announced to the world almost simultaneously in 1839, first in France and then a few months later in England. Accurate "likenesses" of people were available to the masses, and soon reproducible images of faraway places were intriguing to all. This course will explore the earliest image-makers Daguerre and Fox Talbot, the Civil War photographs organized by Mathew Brady, the introduction in 1888 of the Kodak by George Eastman, the critically important social documentary photography of Jacob Riis and his successor, Lewis Hine, the Photo-Secession of Alfred Stieglitz, the Harlem Renaissance of James VanDerZee, the precisionist f64 photographers Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Edward Weston, and other important photographers who came before World War II. The class will be introduced to 19th century processes, such as the daguerreotype, tintype, and ambrotype, as well as albumen prints, cyanotypes, and more.
79-317 Art, Anthropology, and Empire
Intermittent: 9 units
This seminar will explore the anthropology and history of aesthetic objects, as they travel from places considered "primitive" or "exotic," to others deemed "civilized" or "Western." First, we will consider twentieth-century anthropological attempts to develop ways of appreciating and understanding objects from other cultures, and in the process to reconsider the meaning of such terms as "art" and "aesthetics." Then we will discuss several topics in the history of empire and the "exotic" arts, including: the conquest, colonization and appropriation of indigenous objects; the politics of display and the rise of museums and world fairs; the processes by which locally-produced art objects are transformed into commodities traded in international art markets; the effects of "exotic" art on such aesthetic movements as surrealism, etc.; and the appropriation of indigenous aesthetic styles by "Western" artists. Finally, we will consider attempts by formerly colonized populations to reclaim objects from museums, and to organize new museums, aesthetic styles, and forms of artistic production that challenge imperialism's persistent legacies.
79-318 Sustainable Social Change: History and Practice
Intermittent: 9 units
If you wanted to change the world, who would you ask for guidance? Mahatma Gandhi? Rachel Carson? Nelson Mandela? In this interdisciplinary course, we will examine the history of efforts to create sustainable social change. Through a series of targeted case studies, we will examine the successes and failures of notable leaders, past and present, who strove to address social problems nonviolently and to create lasting improvements in fields such as education, healthcare, and human rights. In keeping with the example of the people we will be studying, we will bring our questions and our findings out of the classroom through a variety of creative, student-driven experiments in sustainable social change.
79-319 India Through Film
Intermittent: 6 units
Bollywood films attract hundreds of millions of viewers, not just in India but throughout the world. The name "Bollywood" makes it seem that the Indian film industry is a junior partner, merely an echo of Hollywood. But more films are made in Mumbai every year than in Los Angeles. And Mumbai is only one of many film hubs in India. The rich diversity of Indian cinema speaks to the equally rich history of India itself. This course uses Indian movies to examine several key themes in India's history. We will focus on the twentieth century and on questions of democracy, diversity, and development. This course includes a mandatory film screening on Wednesday evenings beginning at 6:30pm.
79-320 Women, Politics, and Protest
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines the history of women's rights agitation in the United States from the early nineteenth-century to the present. It investigates both well-known struggles for women's equality—including the battles for women's voting rights, an Equal Rights Amendment, and access to birth control—and also explores the history of lesser-known struggles for economic and racial justice. Because women often differed about what the most important issues facing their sex were, this course explores not only the issues that have united women, but also those that have divided them¿keeping intersectionality and women's diversity at the center of the course.
79-322 Stalin and the Great Terror
Intermittent: 9 units
Joseph Stalin has been vilified and praised, damned and worshipped. He left behind a mixed and complex legacy. He created an industrialized modern economy in the Soviet Union and won a great and painful victory over the Nazis. At the same time, he built a police state, sent millions to labor camps, and destroyed the possibilities for socialist democracy. When he died, thousands of Soviet citizens wept at his funeral. This course will combine elements of biography and social history to examine Stalin, the man, and Stalinism, the phenomenon. Using history and film, we will explore one of the most complicated and influential dictatorships of the 20th century.
79-323 Family, Gender, and Sexuality in European History, 500-1800
Intermittent: 9 units
The medieval and early modern periods witnessed a transformation in the cultural and social understandings of gender. During this period, the mutable sexual categories of the pre-modern world evolved into the definitions of masculinity and femininity recognizable today. This course examines these changes in the understanding of gender and the family in Europe in the medieval and early modern periods, drawing upon readings in gender history, marriage and the family, and the history of sexuality. We will explore the ideal of Christian marriage and family and examine how the "ideal" compared to the reality on such issues as marriage practices, family, gender roles, and sexuality. We will also explore the fashioning of female and masculine gender norms and the construction of the male and female sense of self over time. In the process, we will examine the larger historiographical issue of the use of gender as a tool of historical analysis.
79-324 #MeToo: Naming and Resisting Gender Violence
Intermittent: 6 units
#metoo represents a sea change in society's response to gender-based violence. But what is sexual harassment, exactly? When does something cross over into being inappropriate? Would you always know violence when you see it? Chances are, you wouldn't. Focusing on the U.S., this class dives into where we are, and how we got here. It addresses gender-based violence as a public health & human rights issue. It will delineate the legal and social definitions of gender violence, explore how those definitions function both positively and negatively, and examine the long history of protest that has culminated in this moment. Come join the conversation!
79-325 U.S. Gay and Lesbian History
Intermittent: 6 units
US Gay and Lesbian History offers an overview of the changing context and circumstances of sexual minorities in American culture. From early constructions of moral opprobrium, criminal deviance or medical pathology, the LGBT community emerged in the twentieth and twenty-first century as a political constituency and a vital part of contemporary society. Students should be aware that this course will necessarily address issues of intimate relations and sexuality as well as broader historical issues.
79-326 German History through Film
Intermittent: 9 units
This course offers both a history of German cinema and a survey of 20th-century Germany as seen through German films. As film history, the course introduces students to movies spanning the silent era, Nazi films, the West German New Wave, socialist cinema, and post-unification movies. We will consider stylistic and technical trends as well as dramatic content. As a course in German history, the course sets major movies from each era against a backdrop of political, social, and cultural developments. We will also analyze the portrayal of World War II and the Third Reich in films made after 1945. We will view approximately 18 films, mostly in class but several outside of class. Readings will include works on the history of German film and a textbook on 20th-century German history. Writing will consist of three 5-page essays and one 8-10 page paper.
79-327 Modern Girlhood: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Intermittent: 6 units
Through primary documents, film and popular media, material culture, and interdisciplinary scholarship from the emerging field of girl(hood) studies, this course will examine historical conceptions of girlhood and accounts of girls' lives, to contemporary concerns and representations. In seeking to understand the meaning and experience of "modern" girlhood, our focus will primarily be on the 20th and 21st century American experiences, though at times we may look to perspectives from earlier periods and elsewhere in the world. Because there is no single experience or representation of girlhood, we will pay attention to the ways that girlhood is lived and constructed differently across social, cultural, geographic, and chronological perspectives.
79-328 Photographers and Photography Since World War II
Intermittent: 9 units
Invented in 1839, photography was a form of visual expression that immediately attracted a large public following. Starting around 1900, photography was practiced with two dominant strands. One of these firmly believed in the power of photographs to provide a window on the world, and was led by Lewis Hine, whose documentary photographs for the National Child Labor Committee helped to ameliorate living and working conditions for thousands of immigrant children. The other strand adhered to the philosophy of Alfred Stieglitz who adamantly affirmed that photographs were first and foremost reflections of the soul and were art objects, equal to painting, drawing and sculpture. These two schools of thought guided photographers throughout the twentieth century. This course explores in depth the tremendous range of photographic expression since World War II and examines in particular the contributions of significant image-makers such as Helen Levitt, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Charles "Teenie" Harris, Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems, Nan Goldin, James Nachtwey, and many others. Classes include a slide lecture, student presentation, and video segments that introduce a focused selection of images by major photographers in an attempt to understand their intentions, styles, and influences. As available, students will be expected to make one or more visits to photography exhibitions on view in Pittsburgh (locations to be announced at the first class.)
79-329 "High Crimes and Misdemeanors": The Constitution and Impeachment
Intermittent: 6 units
A few years ago, the word "impeachment" drew talk of President Bill Clinton, White House interns, and definitions of the word, "is". Since President Donald Trump's inauguration in early 2017, the prospect of impeachment charges has become a regular media concern. In this course, we will examine the basis for the option of impeachment - the Constitutional power of the legislature to remove the President or other federal officials from office for "treason, bribery, or other "high crimes and misdemeanors." While Presidents may be the most high-profile subjects of impeachment, we will also examine the other 17 federal officers that have been impeached in the past, as well as a number of state officials who have been impeached, including Louisiana Governor Huey Long in 1929 and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2009.
79-330 Medicine and Society
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines the history of American medicine, public health, medical research and education, disease patterns, and patients' experiences of illness from the colonial period to the present. Students read the voices of historical actors, including physicians, patients, policy makers, and researchers. In analyzing these voices, students will learn what was at stake as Americans confronted diseases and struggled to explain and cure them. Readings include a range of primary sources as well as fiction and non-fiction accounts of medicine and health in America.
79-331 Body Politics: Women and Health in America
Intermittent: 9 units
[Note: Students who have taken 79-178, Freshman Seminar: Body Politics: Women and Health in America, may not enroll.] This course takes a topical, intersectional approach to the history of U.S. women's health in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is less about governmental politics, although we do some of that. Rather, it sees bodies as cultural texts through which power is built and contested. The course covers topics such as the history of anatomy, menstruation, reproductive rights, body image, mental health, sexuality, violence, childbirth, and menopause. We explore how science and American culture both have constructed these issues over time (some of it is super whacky!), while also examining women's organizing around them. This course is open to all students.
79-333 Sex, Gender & Anthropology
Intermittent: 9 units
This course introduces students to an anthropological perspective on the relationship between sex (biological) and gender (cultural). In order to understand the various debates we will examine the ideas of manhood, womanhood, third genders and sexuality in cross-cultural perspective. The focus will be primarily on non-western cultures and will examine the construction of status, sexuality, and gender roles within the broader context of ritual, symbolism, marriage, and kinship. Utilizing film, the popular media, and anthropological case studies, this course will provide students with ways to understand and question how and why we express ourselves as "men," "women," and "other."
79-334 Climate Change and Climate Justice: Global Perspectives
Intermittent: 6 units
There remains no credible doubt that human activities are a leading cause of climate change, but profound questions persist over what measures to take, whom to hold accountable, and how to help those affected. What does an effective and just response look like when those who are most responsible for climate change are also often the most protected from its consequences? Who gets to participate in international negotiations and whose cosmologies or values are recognized there? How do debates about climate change relate to those concerning social policy? In this mini-course, we will examine these questions through the lens of Climate Justice. Both a transnational movement and an analytical orientation, Climate Justice compels us to consider how climate change reflects (and exacerbates) systemic inequalities within and between societies. Our exploration will engage case studies and perspectives from different parts of the world, including climate-related health disparities in the US, Indigenous Peoples' calls for climate reparations, island nations facing displacement, and efforts by various parties to influence scientific and popular knowledge.
79-336 Oil & Water: Middle East Perspectives
Intermittent: 6 units
This course provides an introduction to the field of global environmental history, while using regional case studies from the geographic region of the Middle East. It highlights key issues in global history, seeking ways to examine Middle East history from a global historical perspective. Several themes in environmental history will receive special attention, including: agricultural systems; water resources; climate variability; the temporalities of natural resources; and narratives of 'development.' In addition, we will examine the historiography, or changing assumptions over time, of historians and other scholars who have studied the environmental resources of the Middle East.
79-338 History of Education in America
Intermittent: 9 units
Americans have long understood schools both as mechanisms for inculcating communal values and as instruments for social reform. Schools have been alternatively described as pillars of democratic society and as authoritarian institutions for managing deviance. Institutions of education - whether schools, colleges, or universities - figure prominently in discussions of inequality and discrimination, opportunity and meritocracy. This course provides an introductory historical survey of American educational ideas and institutions. From debates in the 17th and 18th centuries over the proper balance of religious and secular education to fierce battles today over the role of the federal government, citizens have been politically mobilized through their concerns about education. By understanding the complicated history of American educational ideas and institutions, this course prepares students to engage critically with ongoing debates about the curriculum, vouchers, charter schools, and national standards.
79-339 Juvenile Delinquency & Film: From Soul of Youth (1920) to West Side Story (1961)
Intermittent: 6 units
How have American films portrayed juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system? What does filmmakers' portrayal of juvenile delinquency tell us about American culture and society? Do films vividly capture or badly distort the "realities" of crime and the operations of the justice system? This course uses feature films (to be viewed in advance of class) from the 1920s to the early 1960s, as well as various sociological, psychological, and historical readings, to explore these issues. The course is run as a colloquium, with students playing central leadership roles in launching and guiding class discussions. The course will have a take-home midterm exam (essay), a final exam (essay), and a few short, written assignments linked to students' required oral presentations in class.
79-340 Juvenile Delinquency & Film: From "Boyz N the Hood"(1991) to "The Wire"(2002-08)
Intermittent: 6 units
How have American films portrayed juvenile crime, drug use, gang violence, and law enforcement responses (especially police and prisons) to juvenile crime and violence? How have American films portrayed individual juvenile delinquents, their families, and the communities in which they live? Do films vividly capture or distort the "realities" of juvenile crime and the operations of law enforcement? This course uses feature films from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, as well as social science and historical readings, to explore these issues. The course is run as a colloquium, with students playing central leadership roles in launching and guiding class discussions.
79-341 The Cold War in Documents and Film
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is based on use of historical documents and films to study problems that reshaped the world during and after the Cold War. We will examine how documentary and feature films depicted the most important events of the Cold War, such as the Korean War, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, and others. In addition to films, sources will include documents, lectures and readings.
79-342 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
Intermittent: 9 units
This course provides an introduction to Science and Technology Studies, a vibrant interdisciplinary field that examines the ways that science and technology interact with contemporary politics, culture, and society. Using theories and methods from history, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, we will examine topics including: the nature of scientific and technical knowledge; the formation of new fields of interdisciplinary expertise (e.g., atomic science, artificial intelligence, or genetic engineering); the emergence of risk societies; systems of classifications and categories and their impact on ideologies of race, sex, and gender; the possibility of objectivity; and the public understanding of science.
79-343 Education, Democracy, and Civil Rights
Intermittent: 9 units
What is the relationship between education and democracy? By examining a series of case studies at the intersection of education and the civil rights movement, this course will prepare students to approach contemporary educational debates as historically-informed critical thinkers. The controversy surrounding charter schools, vouchers, the common core, and the role of standardized testing cannot be understood outside the long history of debates regarding the relationship between education and democracy. Are schools meant to perpetuate the status quo? How did both traditional and more radical forms of education advance the struggle for civil rights? What role have students played in advancing civil rights and democracy? While exploring these questions, we will also partner with local high school students and teachers to bring our learning beyond the classroom.
79-344 Public History: Learning Outside the Classroom
Intermittent: 6 units
Museums and other non-academic institutions reach large audiences with an array of history offerings, including exhibitions, films, publications, performances, oral history, workshops, lectures, events, research, reenactments, lectures, social media, webinars, online, radio and television programming. These educational tools are calculated to engage diverse audiences. Museums and educational nonprofits are also actively collecting and preserving artifacts and archival materials. This course will focus on Pittsburgh history as students examine best practices in Public History. The class will study the inner workings of a large history museum's collection, exhibition, conservation and education programs. Students will participate in field trips and behind-the-scenes tours, virtual explorations, and "hands-on history" outside the classroom at the Heinz History Center and other Pittsburgh attractions. This course will especially interest students considering non-traditional careers in history, education, communications, and nonprofits. MAXIMUM ENROLLMENT IS 15. ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD ONCE PER WEEK OFF CAMPUS, STARTING AT THE HEINZ HISTORY CENTER IN THE STRIP DISTRICT (1212 SMALLMAN STREET).
79-345 Roots of Rock & Roll
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is about open source, collaborative innovation and the impact of social and technological change on American music. We will spend the first 8 weeks on early "remix" music (slave songs, Anglo-Appalachian ballads, ragtime, and Depression era blues and country). After studying Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Hank Williams, and other early artists, we'll spend the last 7 weeks on revolutionaries like Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. The format is informal lecture and discussion. Assignments include reading two books plus some articles, weekly music listening, short papers, and a final project. NB: This course may be taken pass-fail (with submission of appropriate form).
79-346 American Political Humor
Intermittent: 9 units
This course takes a cultural approach to U.S. history since the Civil War, as seen by the nation's most astute and influential critics: its political humorists. Besides immortals like Mark Twain and contemporaries like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, we will (re)discover the satirical yet hilarious voices of H.L. Mencken, Will Rogers, Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, Nora Ephron, Dave Chapelle, and others through essays, recordings and films. At its sharpest edges, humor addresses issues of class, gender and race in American life, and provokes alternative thinking about mass culture, consumerism, and conformity. Assignments include short analytical essays and a final paper.
79-348 Abraham Lincoln
Intermittent: 9 units
This course explores Lincoln's historical importance and his changing status as an American icon. We will not only learn about his life, we will address controversies about him (such as his attitudes and motives regarding slavery and racism). Readings will include a short biography, a book about his struggles with mental illness, a book about his friendship with Frederick Douglass, and Lincoln's own speeches and writings. His skills as a precise and succinct writer will be an ongoing focus; hence, assignments will emphasize the drafting, revising, and polishing of short essays, rather than the memorization of facts.
79-349 United States and the Holocaust
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will challenge you to explore profoundly disturbing historical material. We will examine aspects of history on both sides of the Atlantic with regard to Hitler, the Nazis and America's response in the 1930s and 1940s. This course will compel you to think not only about what happened and why, but also about the implications for us today as individuals and as Americans. Films, a meeting with a survivor or child of survivor as well as the inclusion of survivor accounts in the readings will serve to strengthen the learning impact.
79-350 Early Christianity
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines the origins of Christianity in historical perspective. Using both Christian and non-Christian sources from the period, we will examine how and why Christianity assumed the form that it did by analyzing its background in the Jewish community of Palestine, its place in the classical world, and its relationship to other religious and philosophical traditions of the time. We will also examine historically how the earliest Christians understood the life and message of Jesus, the debates about belief and practice that arose among them, and the factors influencing the extraordinary spread of the movement in its earliest centuries. This course satisfies one of the elective requirements for the Religious Studies minor.
79-352 Christianity Divided: The Protestant and Catholic Reformations, 1450-1650
Intermittent: 9 units
At the dawn of the sixteenth century, most western Europeans shared a common religious identity as members of the Roman Catholic Church. Within less than two decades, this consensus began to crumble, and the very fabric of western culture was irrevocably altered. By 1550, Europe was splintered into various conflicting churches, confessions, sects, and factions, each with its own set of truths and its own plan for reforming the church and society at large. This period of rapid and unprecedented change in western history is commonly known as the Reformation. Though this term has traditionally referred to the birth of Protestantism, it also encompasses the simultaneous renewal and reform that occurred within Roman Catholicism. This course will survey the Reformations of the sixteenth century, both Protestant and Catholic, examining the causes of the Reformation, the dynamics of reform, and its significance for western society and culture. In the process, we will analyze such on-going problems as religious persecution and the accommodation of dissent, the relationship between religion and politics, and the interactions between ideology and political, social, and economic factors in the process of historical change.
79-354 Kids and Schools in the 20th Century
Intermittent: 6 units
This course examines the history of children's experiences in American K-12 schools, both public and private, at three critical moments in the 20th and early 21st centuries. We will first examine the emergence of Progressivism as a perceived antidote to the impacts of industrialization, urbanization, and the immigrant experience on children and youth in the early 1900s. We will then study the retreat from Progressive educational ideas in the wake of the Cold War and "Space Race" with the Soviet Union in the decades following World War II. Finally, we will analyze the impacts on American schoolchildren of the "Excellence" and "No Child Left Behind" movements that began around the turn of the 21st century and and continue today. To ground class discussions, we will use both secondary and primary historical sources, including policy and curricular documents, documentary film, and first-person accounts of both children and teachers in schools.
79-355 Fake News: "Truth" in the History of American Journalism
Intermittent: 6 units
Scandal, conspiracy, and partisan propaganda have been among the stuff of media ever since newspapers first appeared in America, and now they figure prominently in electronic media as well. The question "What is truth?" is not just a matter of philosophical speculation, but an essential issue at every level of American life, from individuals on social media to citizens, journalists, and politicians responsible for sustaining a democratic society. This course is literally "ripped from the headlines," examining contemporary conflicts over credibility in print and online, in the context of historical experience. My goal is to help you think in new ways about how to assess when news really is "fake" and when it's just "an inconvenient truth."
79-356 Neuroscience and the City
Intermittent: 9 units
How do we, as human beings, experience the urban environment? We explore the underlying psychological and neural basis of our perceptions as they create the experience of historical change.
79-359 Truth, Lies, and Propaganda: A Historical Inquiry
Intermittent: 9 units
For many commentators, the election of Donald Trump in November 2016 marks the beginning of the "post-truth" era, in which reality is no longer knowable, or even relevant. While this narrative certainly captures the unease that many Americans feel, it is historically inaccurate. There never was a time in the past when we could readily discern truth from falsehood without difficulty. The goal of this course is to examine the social history of truth. We will explore the concept of truth in philosophy and science; the evolution of methods for discovering facts about the world; the centrality of trust in knowledge production; and the innumerable ways that facts have been questioned, manipulated, discredited, purposefully ignored, and fabricated over the past several centuries. The course will include case studies from science, law, politics, war, art, journalism, and history.
79-363 The Rise of Modern Golf, 1860 to the Present
Intermittent: 6 units
Aristocratic pastime or the people's game? This course will examine the emergence of golf as both a professional and amateur sport and as a popular leisure activity between 1860 — when Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland hosted the first (British) Open — and the present day. Students will read and discuss historical, sociological, and literary texts, and view several documentary and feature films as well. The course will have a take-home midterm exam (essay), a final exam (essay), and a few short, written assignments linked to students' required oral presentations in class.
79-364 From Midwife to Obstetrician: The Transformation of Modern Childbirth
Intermittent: 6 units
At-home births, epidurals, C-sections: women's experiences with childbirth have varied widely over time. Many of these differing experiences stem from societal developments that first occurred in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing specifically on England and the United States, we will identify the factors (e.g., human agents, ideologies, etc.) that influenced major changes in the childbirth process and examine how these changes affected mothers and childbirth practitioners of the time. Additionally, we will consider what implications this historical study holds for interpreting contemporary debates surrounding women's health issues, including but not limited to childbirth. Throughout this course, we make liberal use of primary sources to develop arguments about the large-scale changes that occurred between 1600 and the present. Through assigned readings, class discussions, and diverse course assignments, students will develop an informed perspective on the transformation(s) of childbirth.
79-367 Disastrous Encounters
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is ONLY offered at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar. Disastrous Encounters explores the complex interaction between human beings and their environment by examining incidents in which those disasters have proven destructive or fatal to humankind. By the end of the class students will be able to: Explain the scientific principles behind "natural" disasters, including cyclonic weather, global climate change, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, river flooding, famines, and diseases. Analyze to what extent a given disaster is in fact "natural" at all, but rather was either caused by or exacerbated by human actions. Draw connections between different types of disasters, recognizing that major disasters often produce predictable secondary disaster effects. Read documents critically, especially in terms of the author's agenda and the author's likely biases. Write strong analytical essays.
79-368 Un-natural Disasters: Societies and Environmental Hazards in Global Perspective
Intermittent: 6 units
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Neil Smith famously observed that "there is no such thing as a natural disaster." This course takes a cue from Smith by examining the social production of disasters in the past and present, from acute environmental events like typhoons and earthquakes to disasters of "slow violence" like chronic exposure to toxic pollution and food insecurity. Examining case studies from around the world, we will explore how these different forms of disaster collide with inequalities of race, class, and gender - and in the process challenge us to rethink the relationship between nature and society.
79-369 Disasters in American History: Floods and Hurricanes
Intermittent: 6 units
In this course we will investigate the historical roles played by people in creating the conditions for disastrous floods and hurricanes in the United States, examining the material causes of "natural disasters" and analyzing how Americans have been affected differently according to race and class. By the end of the course, we will have examined some of America's largest flood and hurricane disasters in their historical contexts, and we will use this knowledge to think about disasters that Americans face now and in the future.
79-370 Disasters in American History (2):Epidemics & Fires
Intermittent: 6 units
This course investigates the historical roles played by people in creating the conditions for disastrous outbreaks of disease and fire in the United States, examining the material causes of "natural disasters" and analyzing how Americans have been affected differently according to race and class. By the end of the course, we will have examined some of America's largest epidemics and wildfires in their historical contexts, and we will use this knowledge to think about disasters that Americans face now and in the future.
79-371 African American Urban History
Intermittent: 9 units
Popular perceptions of poor and working class people occupy a prominent place in discussions of today's African American urban community in the unfolding Age of Donald Trump. In the contemporary quest to build livable urban communities, however, journalistic, public policy, and academic analysts often discuss the black poor and working class as "consumers" rather than "producers," as "takers" rather than "givers," and as "liabilities" instead of "assets" in the present moment of the nation's history. Effective public policies, movement strategies, educational programs, media campaigns, and sensitive philanthropic decisions require deeper and more thoughtful perspectives on the history of urban race and class relations in the past. Focusing on the development of African American urban history from its colonial beginnings through today's "Black Lives Matter Movement," this course will emphasize the many ways that people of African descent shaped American and African American urban life through their roles as workers, community-builders, and social justice activists. In addition to weekly classroom discussions of assigned readings, students will write a series of short essays (based upon a mix of secondary and primary sources) on selected topics/themes in the development of African American urban life, culture, and politics.
79-372 Cities, Technology, and the Environment
Intermittent: 6 units
This course will explore the interaction of cities, technology and the natural environment over time. In doing so it will consider major issues confronting cities today including landscape and site changes; water supply, wastewater disposal and flooding; solid waste disposal; transportation and suburbanization; energy changes; and the impact of deindustrialization. These themes will be approached through a combination of class discussions, lectures, and visiting speakers. Class participation is expected, and will comprise a portion of the grade. In addition to required texts, readings will be distributed on Canvas.
79-373 Culture and Revolution: The Socialist Experiment in Soviet Russia
Intermittent: 6 units
In 1917, revolutionaries took power in Russia to create the world's first socialist society. In this great and untried experiment, they initially attempted to remake every phase of social and cultural life, from the family to art to education. Before Stalin's rise to power at the end of the 1920s, the new socialist society challenged tradition and created new possibilities. How could life be lived in a new way and better way? What values could and should replace the old traditions of patriarchy and class hierarchy? How could ordinary people be empowered to create a new culture? In this course, we will study the 1920s, a riotous decade of experimentation in cultural, sexual, and political life. Looking at literature, art, social relations, education, and law, we will examine the theories and experiments that bloomed in the wake of revolution.
79-375 Science & Religion
Intermittent: 6 units
A widely-held notion is that science and religion are perennially at "war" with one another. Debates over evolution, and more recently climate change, are often cited as examples, while predictions that science will eventually render religion obsolete are at least as old as the Enlightenment. Nevertheless, science and religion are both thriving in the twenty-first century, which raises the question of whether these two ways of seeing the world might, for some people at least, be more complementary than conflictual. We'll explore the history of the relationship between science and religion and the different "ways of knowing" employed by each. A number of common assumptions will be critically examined as we consider questions of fact and value, and the competency of both science and religion to address some of the major challenges of our day.
79-377 Food, Culture, and Power: A History of Eating
Intermittent: 9 units
This course explores food production and consumption in the modern world. This semester, we will focus on ongoing debates over how to feed a world of seven billion people on a planet undergoing major climate change. We will explore the historical roots of the problem of "feeding the world" and consider the overlapping yet competing ideas of food security and food sovereignty. What are the cultural, economic, environmental and political contexts that create opportunities and constraints for changing food systems? After exploring this big question through readings and group discussions, the second half of the semester will be devoted to individual research projects focused on the historical and cultural dimensions of food provisioning.
79-379 Extreme Ethnography
Intermittent: 9 units
Observation, participation and direct experience of "the field" are hallmarks of anthropological ways of knowing, and their representation has played a foundational role in ethnographic writing both past and present. Yet reflexive and postmodernist explorations of these topics have triggered contentious debates over the nature of anthropology as a scientific or humanistic enterprise, and over its ethical, political and epistemological value. In this seminar, we will approach such questions through an exploration of the extremes of ethnographic fieldwork and writing. We will consider such topics as: the colonial history and politics of explorers and ethnographers; liminality and the place of extreme experience—such as cultural dislocation, violence, derangement, intoxication, sex, possession, and dreaming-in fieldwork and writing; field-notes as an ethnographic genre, and their relationship to "official" published ethnography; ethnographic surrealism and surrealist ethnography; the dimensions of sensory experience (visual, auditory, olfactory, etc.) in fieldwork and ethnography; collecting and the powers of "exotic" objects; inter-subjectivity and its implications; and experimentation with alternate ethnographic forms, such as autobiography, film, diary, and poetry.
79-380 Hostile Environments: The Politics of Pollution in Global Perspective
Intermittent: 9 units
Earth is an increasingly toxic planet. Fossil-fueled industrialization, chemical engineering, and resource-intensive consumerism have generated immense wealth, but they have also left long-term, cumulative legacies of toxic pollution and ecological harm. While these legacies affect everyone, their impacts are by no means evenly distributed. In this course, we will use the tools of anthropology, political ecology, and history to examine experiences of toxic exposure in different parts of the world, including Pittsburgh. Our analyses will ask how inequalities of race, class, and gender shape exposure as well as how cultural differences create divergent understandings of ecology, health, and their interrelationship. We will consider, moreover, how these disparities shape what people know about pollution and whether/how they demand accountability for it. Cases we explore will range from acute industrial disasters (and their aftermath) to the harms experienced by other-than-human beings to the gradual, often invisible exposures that affect all of us to varying degrees.
79-381 Energy and Empire: How Fossil Fuels Changed the World
Intermittent: 9 units
Few things have changed the world as much as petroleum: cars, airplanes, fertilizers, plastics are just some of the technologies derived from oil. Moreover, the wealth and power associated with "black gold" has shaped geopolitics in the twentieth century, giving rise to so-called "petro-states." For the first five weeks, we will trace the evolution and expansion of "petrocultures" around the world. The remainder of the course will be organized around individual student research projects. The major learning objective of this course is to give students experience writing an original research paper. Students will be expected to define a research question, assemble a bibliography of sources, write and revise an analytical paper, and do an oral presentation. This course, open to all students, partially fulfills the Theoretical and Topical Core course requirement for Global Studies majors.
79-382 Law, Voting Rights, & American Democracy: Historical & Contemporary Perspectives
Intermittent: 6 units
Voter participation in free and fair elections is one of the most basic principles of the American republic, yet our country's history is fraught with examples of citizens having to fight to exercise this right. From literacy tests to poll taxes, gerrymandered districts to controversial campaign financing rules, the federal and state governments have been called upon to establish protections for citizens and, when these protections fail, determine a remedy. This course will examine various key elements of voting and elections especially relevant to the current body politic, including campaign finance and gerrymandering.
79-383 The History of Capitalism
Intermittent: 9 units
What is capitalism? How does it differ from the systems that preceded it, and how did it come to revolutionize the globe? This course will cover the development of capitalism from the 16th century to the present. We will examine the theories of Karl Marx and Adam Smith, who both attempted to theorize the new, emerging system. We will look at how the transition from feudalism to capitalism took place, and the impact of new world slavery, commodity production, and the role of women and the household. We will examine the development and demise of the factory system and deindustrialization in America's rust belt cities. We will examine "globalization," the latest dynamic phase of capitalism, and its impact on people and the environment. Finally, we will discuss the advent of robotization, and the impact of casual labor, low wages, and unemployment on democracy, the prison system, and the rise of a new technocratic elite.
79-384 Gender and Sports
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will examine how gender has fundamentally shaped the logic of organized sports for men and women during the past century and a half, especially in the U.S. A variety of competitive levels will be examined, with the focus on amateur as well as professional sports. Several sports will receive special attention, including basketball, track, tennis and golf — both men's and women's participation in each sport. The course will be in a discussion format, with reading assignments required for each class. All examinations will be in essay format.
79-385 Out of Africa: The Making of the African Diaspora
Intermittent: 9 units
The trans-Atlantic slave trade dispersed Africans in the New World and the Old, creating the African Diaspora. Generations of scholars have disputed whether descendants of enslaved Africans could have retained any of their African culture and/ or fully assimilated into New World societies. This course will combine a chronological, geographical, and a thematic approach to the creation of new Africa-inspired cultures in both Africa and the African Diaspora. It will explore societies in the Caribbean, the US South, Latin America, and Africa and address themes, such as Africanisms, African survivals, African retentions, Creole languages, and religion.
79-386 Entrepreneurs in Africa, Past, Present and Future
Intermittent: 9 units
Fifty years after Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African nation, gained its independence from colonial rule, African economies continue to rest on a fragile foundation. Entrepreneurs must play an important role in developing the African continent, because both African governments and foreign aid have overall failed. In the face of these myriad of internal and external constraints on economic development, the history of entrepreneurship and future potential for entrepreneurship is often overlooked. This course will show that sub-Saharan Africa is-and has been for centuries-a thriving place of business, despite the obstacles of war, political and economic instability, disease, and famine. It will also focus on the challenges, such as local, regional, and national integration, access to credit and capital accumulation, and debt burden that African economies faced in the past, present, and future. Lastly, it will focus on the strategies that entrepreneurs in Africa-local and foreign-have developed to circumnavigate these challenges-and the opportunities that they have created in spite of them. By taking a historical approach to the subjects of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology in Africa, this course will define African entrepreneurship in a way that is rooted in Africans' historical experiences and use this definition to put Africa's current and future roles in the global economy into historical perspective.
79-387 General Francisco Franco: Fascism and its Legacies in Spain
Intermittent: 6 units
Francisco Franco was Europe's longest-ruling dictator. He ruled over Spain from 1939 to 1975. This course will examine the social and cultural context of the rise of Fascism in Spain. We will focus especially on Franco's seizure of power during the Spanish Civil War; the decades of his lengthy dictatorship; the social and cultural politics in transitioning Spain to democracy after his death; and the legacy of Spanish Fascism and Franco's dictatorship in contemporary Spain.
79-388 The History of Sports in the United States
Intermittent: 9 units
The course will survey the history of sports in the United States, focusing primarily on the 20th century. Topics considered will include sports and race, gender, and politics; the commercialization of sport; and collegiate sports. We will pay particular attention to the way in which sports have served as an arena for dissent. Also covered will be Pittsburgh's relation to national sports trends. By the end of the semester students will gain an understanding of the changing role of sports in the United States.
79-390 History Workshop: Computer Science
Intermittent: 9 units
This course examines the history of computing with a focus on the history of computers and computing at Carnegie Mellon University. Students will read historical accounts of computing as well as research the history of computing at Carnegie Mellon using the materials and resources of the University Archives and libraries. Students in the course will collaboratively produce a public exhibition on the history of computing as their final project.
79-392 America at War: From Vietnam to Afghanistan
Intermittent: 9 units
In this course we will look at fundamental changes in the approach of the United States to preparing for and engaging in armed conflict that have taken place since the War in Vietnam. The lowering of the voting age to eighteen and the end of conscription ("the Draft"), committed the United States to the challenge of continuing the Cold War and winning - there has been no acceptable alternative since the fall of Saigon - post-Cold War conflicts with an all-volunteer military whose members were now enfranchised. At the same time, the U.S. defense establishment continued its pursuit of advanced technologies in all facets and at all levels of warfare, evolving through various regional interventions and culminating in the Gulf War, "Operation Desert Storm," in 1991. We will examine the continuing and increasing role of hi-tech in the chaotic decade after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and in the American-led "War on Terror" since 9/11, waged by a much smaller, highly professionalized military, and we will engage some ethical and social issues about the American Way of War in the recent past and the citizens who practice it.
79-393 Institutions of the Roman Church
Intermittent: 9 units
This course is only offered at Carnegie Mellon's campus in Qatar. This course will explore the history of the Catholic Church, with a particular focus on the church as an evolving European institution. Although we will have to deal with theological arguments at times, abstract theology will not be the focus of the course. Instead, the course will be centered on two main questions. First, how did the Catholic Church manage to persist, for nearly two millennium, as a stable institutional entity within an ever-changing European milieu? Secondly, to what degree did the Catholic Church influence and/or reflect developments within Western European culture?
79-394 Exploring History through Geography
Intermittent: 6 units
For studying the past, space can be as important as time. Digital mapping and GeoLocation technologies influence our everyday interactions and perceptions of the world around us. Historians are thinking about how these technologies can change their fields of study, too. Through the "spatial turn" in the Humanities and Social Sciences, historians are using spatial experience to think more deeply about the meaning of place and space. Visualizing spatial relationships via new technologies can offer meaningful new ways to approach historical questions. This course will consider viewpoints from the discipline of Geography and explore the impact of new methods in the Digital Humanities, including the impact of digital tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
79-395 The Arts in Pittsburgh
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will examine the arts in Pittsburgh, both historically and in the present. We will focus especially on art exhibits and musical events scheduled by the city's museums and concert halls during the semester. The "curriculum" will derive from the artistic presentations themselves, which will provide a springboard for reading assignments, seminar discussions, and research papers in the history of music and art. We will also examine the historical development of cultural institutions in Pittsburgh. The History Department will pay for students' admission to all museums and studios. However, students will be charged a supplemental fee of approximately $275 to help subsidize the considerable expense of purchasing tickets for concerts and performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, Chamber Music Society, and Renaissance and Baroque Society. Attendance at all art exhibits and musical events is required. Prerequisite: Please check your overall course schedule: you must be available to attend art exhibits on several Fridays and Saturdays, and to attend musical events on several Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
79-396 Music and Society in 19th and 20th Century Europe and the U.S.
Intermittent: 9 units
This course will explore the interrelations between society and classical and popular music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Europe and the United States. We will examine the importance of different musical forms in the life of society and how music contributed to the making of political consciousness, especially in the twentieth century. In addition to reading assignments, seminar discussions, and research papers in the history of music, students will be taken to performances of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, and Chamber Music Pittsburgh. A supplemental fee of approximately $275 will be charged to subsidize part of the considerable expense of purchasing tickets for concerts and performances. Prerequisite: Availability to attend musical events on several Friday and Saturday evenings.
79-397 Environmental Crises and the City
Intermittent: 6 units
Concern over Global Climate Change has increasingly focused on the environment of cities. our largest and most vulnerable population centers. Yet, since their origins, cities have consistently faced environmental challenges from both natural and human made factors. This course will explore some of these environmental challenges over time, examining issues including air and water pollution, floods, heat waves, earthquakes and hurricanes, disease and public health, and warfare. It will examine how these events have shaped and altered cities and urban life over time and consider issues relating to the desirability or undesirability of life in cities.
79-398 Documenting the 1967 Arab-Israeli War
Intermittent: 9 units
This course considers how historians practice their craft in interpreting great events with the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 serving as the case study. Students read recent scholarly accounts of the war and then check them against one another as well as a variety of primary source materials such as memoirs, documents, speeches, newspapers, maps, eye-witness reports and UN resolutions. We will constantly be asking if the sources support the secondary accounts or if there are other interpretations that might lead to different conclusions. We will be examining the texts for tangents left unexplored and possibly worthy of further research. Students should expect a significant reading load, frequent short assignments and a final research paper of 15-20 pages on a 1967 War-inspired topic.
79-400 Global Studies Research Seminar
Fall: 12 units
This research seminar is the capstone course for Global Studies majors. The course is designed to give you a chance to define and carry out a research project of personal interest. The first few weeks of the course will be devoted to developing a research topic and locating sources. We will then work on how to interpret and synthesize sources into a coherent and compelling thesis before you begin drafting your paper. Your research may be based on in-depth reading of a body of scholarly work, field notes from ethnographic observations, archival research, analysis of literary or visual media, or some combination of these sources. Incorporation of some non-English language sources is strongly encouraged where possible. Independent work, self-initiative, participation in discussion, and peer evaluations are required. There are several interim deadlines that will be strictly enforced in order to ensure successful completion of the course. Prerequisites: 79-275 and Theoretical and Topical Core must be complete or concurrently enrolled. Corequisite: 79-275.
79-420 Historical Research Seminar
Fall: 12 units
The purpose of this research seminar is to help students conceptualize, design, organize, and execute a substantial research project that embodies and extends the knowledge and skill set they have been developing as History majors at Carnegie Mellon. The identification, collection and interpretation of relevant primary source data are integral parts of this intellectual task. Students will strive to hone written and oral presentation skills, deepen their command of research methodologies and strategies, and sharpen their abilities as a constructive critic of others' research. The seminar seeks to develop these intellectual skills through a combination of in-class, student-led discussions of everyone's research-in-progress, and regular individual consultations with the instructor.
Prerequisite: 79-200 Min. grade C
79-449 EHPP Project Course
Fall: 12 units
The Ethics, History and Public Policy Project Course is required for the Ethics, History and Public Policy major and is taken in the fall semester of the senior year. In this capstone course, Ethics, History and Public Policy majors carry out a collaborative research project that examines a compelling current policy issue that can be illuminated with historical research and philosophical and policy analysis for a chosen client. The students develop an original research report based on both archival and contemporary policy analysis and they present their results to their client and a review panel.
79-470 Simulating Conflict Resolution
Intermittent: 3 units
This course is only offered at Carnegie Mellon's campus in Qatar. This pass-fail, 3-credit course for the Qatar campus is designed to prepare students for a capstone event: an international conflict resolution exercise, to be held in the 2018 Spring semester, that simulates a current Middle Eastern crisis. The course will consist of two parts. First, students will meet weekly with an instructor for 1 hour/week to discuss the historical and modern Middle East, so that they will be prepared to participate meaningfully in the simulation. For these classes, students will be expected to complete and discuss readings prepared by the instructor. Secondly, students will participate in the simulation exercise in late spring, taking the role of one of the Middle Eastern actors (these will be decided ahead of time) and role-playing their nation's response to the specific crisis scenario. Finally, after the simulation, students will submit to the instructor a reflection paper on what they learned from participating in the event. Suggested pre- or co-req: Conflict Resolution (80-242 or 70-321).
79-491 Independent Study
Intermittent
An Independent Study is meant for students with a special interest in an area not covered by a formal history course. Readings and other work are negotiated between the student and an individual faculty member.
79-503 Senior Thesis I
Fall: 9 units
Seniors may write a thesis with permission of the Undergraduate Advisor and a designated faculty member who will supervise its completion.
79-505 Social & Political History Internship
All Semesters
The Social & Political History program strongly encourages students to locate internship opportunities in Pittsburgh or elsewhere that complement their historical interests (as, for example, in a museum or historical society) or areas of policy research that link closely with their historical interests (as, for example, in a government agency or non-profit organization). To earn academic credit for their internship, students will be required to maintain a weekly journal; write a short critical reflection on how the internship connects to their academic interests; and share their experience with other Social & Political History majors. The Academic Advisor will assist students with matching their interests to local organizations. SPH students can earn up to 9 units in each internship. However, the internship credits they earn will not count toward fulfillment of the course requirements (93 units) for the SPH major.
79-506 Global Studies Internship
Fall and Spring
This course provides Global Studies majors with a chance to explore global connections in Pittsburgh. Majors, working in close consultation with the Global Studies director and advisor, will arrange an internship with a non-governmental organization (usually in Pittsburgh) whose mission has a global reach. This could include an organization that supports projects in other countries, works with immigrants in the Pittsburgh area, or participates in international policy making/governance. We strongly encourage students to seek out opportunities that require use of a second language. Students will be required to maintain a weekly journal; write a short critical reflection on how the internship connects to academic work; and share their experience with other Global Studies majors. Global Studies advisor and director will assist students with matching their interests to local organizations and identifying an on-site supervisor available to collaborate in the ongoing and final evaluation of the student's work. Prerequisite: Students must be Global Studies majors and obtain permission for the proposed internship from the Global Studies advisor.
Back to top