History 100 Course Descriptions (AY 2013-2014)
The Cold War: History vs. Hollywood:
After World War II, the US and USSR led the world in a global standoff that was
sometimes quiet, sometimes bloody, but always tense. The Cold War dominated American
foreign policy for over four decades, and it also impacted the American psyche,
as seen through popular films of the era. This course will look at the Cold War
from both historical and pop culture perspectives. We will examine the difference
between the historical Cold War and Hollywood's portrayals of it, as well as the
various viewpoints from both sides of the conflict.
In early modern Europe, less than 15% of the population owned most of the property
and wealth. An even smaller percentage of people made most of the big decisions
regarding religion, politics, and society. Traditional political history reflects
this focus on "big men" and "big events" and depicts the rest of the people as merely
reacting to dictates passed down to them from on high. In this course we will explore
how most people lived their lives, how they were affected byb actions taken at the
centers of power, and how they in turn had a profound impact on the way decisions
were ultimately manifested in everyday life.
The History of Food:
In this course we will study the history of food from the beginnings of agriculture
in the ancient world to more contemporary developments, such as locavorism and the
Food Network. We will examine the ways in which attitudes toward food have changed
over time, both in the United States and more globally, and students will discuss
some of the ethical and political issues involving food. We will also consider the
ways in which an individual’s cultural heritage impacts their feelings about food,
including inclinations and taboos.
History of Iraq since 1920, with an emphasis on the 1990s, the 2003 U.S. invasion,
and recent events. This offering of HIST 100 fulfills the "Non-Western" Cross-Area
Nation states have not always existed, so how did they come to be? In this course
we will explore nationalist movements in Europe and North America, from the American
Revolution to the present, looking carefully at the roles that ethnic identification,
religion, and language have played in the formation of the modern nation state.
History 101 Course Descriptions (AY 2013-2014)
The Age of Nationalism:
China - Ancient to Modern (J-Term travel course):
An Introduction to History with a focus on China’s efforts to modernize in the 19th
& 20th Centuries. The travel experience will allow us to see, hear, smell and
taste Chinese society as it is today, while we read about and discuss China’s historical
struggle. This offering of HIST 101 fulfills the "Non-Western" and “experiential–travel”
The centuries between 1600 and 2000 were punctuated by major revolutions in Western
Europe. Changes in the way men and women approached God, each other, their governments,
and work triggered social upheaval and war, as well as violent optimism and despair.
In this course, we will examine four major European revolutions: the English Civil
Wars/Revolution, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and the Russian
Revolution. Additionally we will study the so-called “Age of Revolutions.”
Study of revolutionary changes in American life during the 1960s. Topics include
rock music, new art & cinema, campus unrest, interest in eastern religions,
civil rights & black power, emergence of feminism and environmentalism, as well
as the Vietnam war and the hippie counterculture.
The Transformation of Virginia:
This course takes its name from a Pulitzer Prize-winning history by the late Rhys
Isaac. We will use this remarkable text, first, to explore eighteenth-century Virginia.
The subject matters, not just to proud Virginians but to anyone interested in the
origins of the USA. By the eighteenth century, Virginia was not only the wealthiest
and most populous American colony; the commonwealth would also stand out for the
number and quality of her political leaders during the American Revolution and during
the first years of the new American republic. In this course, we will also use The
Transformation of Virginia to investigate just how historians construct their narratives
from primary sources. Students will use documents of the time to develop their own
informed interpretations and to write their own historical narratives. As students
in this History 101 course consider Rhys Isaac’s historical writing, in other words,
they will also be trying it all out for themselves.
Women and 20th-Century China:
Putting women at the center of our inquiry of Chinese culture and societies, this course is designed to introduce students to major themes/topics in Chinese women’s history: Confucianism and women’s positioning, family and marriage, gender discourse and citizenship, women’s suffragist movement, women’s relationship with politics and the state, colonialism and gender, mothers and social welfare, women in public health, violence and women, and war and its gendered effects. Examining in historical context the conflicts and coalitions between women and their surrounding environment, the course aims more for depth than coverage.
World War II:
This course investigates the causes and consequences of the Second World War. In
addition to offering a comprehensive military history of the war, the course explores
the legacy of the First World War, the crisis of European Liberalism and the rise
of Fascism and National Socialism, international politics during the 1920s and 1930s,
the outbreak of war in Asia and Europe, the entry of the United States into the
war, the Holocaust, and the contours of the post-war world.