The Department of History offers a wide variety of classes in a broad array of regions and time periods. For a complete listing of all the courses the Department offers, see the Online Catalogue.
Below is an unofficial list of courses taught in the History Department in Spring 2017. It is strictly for the use of expanded course descriptions. For the complete official course offerings, both graduate and undergraduate, please consult the UIC SCHEDULE OF CLASSES.
UIC History Course Descriptions Spring 2017
HIST 100 Western Civilization to 1648
MWF 9-9:50am, 2LCF
History 100 offers a broad survey of “Western” (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Jewish,Greco-Roman, Medieval Islamic and Christian, Renaissance, and Reformation ) cultures from prehistory to roughly 1600. We will examine economic, social, political, geo-political, and religious issues which helped to shape this particular geographical area. We will read short accounts of or by Socrates, Saint Paul, Charlemagne, and Machiavelli, which will hopefully help illustrate some of the themes and storylines of this course.
HIST 101 Western Civilization Since 1648
MWF 9-9:50am, 2LCD
History 101 offers a broad survey of Western (mostly European) history from 1648 to the present. We focus on the social, political and intellectual trends and conflicts across these centuries, and examine their role in shaping our modern world. To this end, we will devote much attention to primary source readings (provided in your course Documentary Reader), for which our textbook (Noble) provides the overall storyline and necessary context.
HIST 101 Western Civilization Since 1648
MWF 12-12:50pm, 2LCC
HIST 103 Early America: From Colonization to Civil War and Reconstruction
MWF 10-10:50am, 2BSB
HIST 104 Modern America: From Industrialization to Globalization
MWF 10-10:50am, 2LCF
This course is the broad survey of American history from the era shortly after the Civil War (1861-1865) to the present day. By listening to music, watching videos, reading novels, and examining political cartoons, this class will take you through the major events of the past 150 years that have shaped our country.
HIST 104 Modern America: From Industrialization to Globalization
MWF 2-2:50am, 2LCC
HIST 105 Global Transformations and the Rise of the West Since 1000
The West's history is one of extraordinary success; no other region, empire, culture, or civilization has left so powerful a mark upon the world. This course charts the West's achievements―representative government, the free enterprise system, modern science, and the rule of law―as well as its misdeeds―two frighteningly destructive World Wars, the Holocaust, imperialistic domination, and the Atlantic slave trade.
Adopting a global perspective, the course explores the contributions of other cultures and civilizations to the West's emergence. It also traces the rise of Western power through a series of revolutions, including social, political, technological, military, commercial, and industrial.
The course is fully online—students follow a defined schedule but have no classes to attend. See course Blackboard page for details.
Past, and World Cultures course. To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion and one Lecture.
HIST 109 East Asian Civilization: Ancient China
In this introductory course to Chinese history, we will explore broad social, political, and intellectual developments, beginning from the origins of Chinese civilization to 1500. But while we take a long-term approach to historical change, we will keep a keen eye for the everyday lives of people from all walks of life: nobles, scholars, women, immigrants, merchants, peasants, and rebels, among others.
Past, and World Cultures course.
HIST 114 Topics in World History: World War II
World War II is a common source of fascination for the historically minded. In this class students will be introduced to the war from a world history perspective, considering it not only as a military and political event, but a transformative factor in cultures and societies around the world. We will discuss a wide range of historical issues connected to the war, including the role of new technology in shaping warfare; the concept and execution of total war; the relationship and differences between the European and Pacific theaters; occupation and nationalism; propaganda and popular culture; the war’s impact on women, children, and social organization; as well as the way the war has been remembered.
HIST 137 Russia in War and Revolution, 1904-1922
There was no more world-changing event of the twentieth century than the Russian Revolution of 1917. It laid low the world's biggest Empire and brought to power revolutionaries—the Bolsheviks—determined to transform their country and the world. Guided by the political philosophy of Karl Marx, the Bolshevik leaders nationalized all businesses, real estate, landed property, and financial assets. They repudiated traditional diplomacy and what they called "imperialist war." They worked to abolish the free market and money. They legalized abortion, simplified divorce, and appointed the world’s first female ambassador and cabinet minister. They also launched a crusade against world capitalism.
Drawing on historical interpretations, writings by eyewitnesses and participants, literature, art, and film, students will explore the events leading up to the upheaval of 1917, the Bolsheviks’ radical transformation of Russia, and their impact on the world.
Individual and Society course, and Past course.
HIST 170 The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman empire controlled most of the present Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans for over 500 years. The history of these societies is, therefore, inextricably linked with the Ottoman past; and yet, the memory of this past is highly controversial today, shaping international relations and offering a platform for contending interpretations in soap operas and other popular venues. But who really were the Ottomans? And what did they achieve?
In this introductory course, we will focus on the social, cultural, and political history of the Ottoman empire from its beginnings in circa 1300 to its fall in 1922. We will not only reflect on how the Ottomans ruled the conquered territories, but also how the subjects of the Ottoman sultans—men and women; elites, commoners, and slaves; Muslims, Christians, and Jews—experienced everyday life.
Past, and World Cultures course.
HIST 214 Twentieth-Century Europe
History 214 tracks European developments from the First World War through the conclusion of World War II, and considers the worlds undone and remade by these epochal conflicts. Historians sometimes refer to the traumatic years from 1914-45 as Europe’s “Second Thirty Years War,” a phrase that underscores the continuities between these wars, as well as the tumultuous time between them. Yet alongside its manifest catastrophes, this period also saw remarkable innovation and departure in European culture, politics and social relations, and our approach will emphasize its bracing modernity alongside its iconic disasters and atrocities. At semester’s end, we will briefly survey European developments after 1945 – the remaking and resettling of postwar Europe, the dynamics of conflict between East and West, and the forging of new European relations in the shadows of Cold War.
HIST 217 Introduction to United States Military History
Klatt, B; Stack, L; Dunn, B
HIST 218 Pompeii: Everyday Life in a Roman Town
HIST 219 Sport in the Ancient World
This course provides an in-depth examination of sport in the Greco-Roman world. Lectures and discussions will follow a chronological and thematic sequence. Emphasis will lie equally on both the development of formal aspects of sport (e.g. techniques and rules of individual events; training; prizes; historical development of the Olympics and other international and local games) as well as its social and political ramifications. Moreover, the course will provide an introduction to the written and material evidence germane to the reconstruction of the history of sport in the ancient world and will survey the impact on Greco-Roman sport on the modern Olympic and sports movements.
HIST 220 Modern Germany, 1848 to the Present
This lecture/discussion course surveys the cultural, socio-economic, and political developments arising from German unification and industrialization. The origins of German aggression in World War I, rise of Nazism, dissolution of German unity in World War II, development of the two Germanies, and their reunification provide the general framework for lectures, films, class readings, and discussion.
Five quizzes on the assigned readings and two out-of-class essays on a choice of topics will constitute respectively 40% and 60% of the final grade.
HIST 223 Modern Britain Since 1689
HIST 225 The Age of Revolution in France: 1715-1848
It would be hard to identify another national history so explosive, creative and world-shaking as that of France between 1715 and 1848. Over these years the French blazed new trails in intellectual life, military affairs, culture and the arts. Lurching from revolution to reaction, from restoration to reform, France provided the testing grounds for much of our modern repertoire of politics, statecraft and sensibility. In this course, we will examine these movements, conflicts and trends mainly through primary source materials – philosophical tracts, memoirs, contemporary novels and period documents. While class lectures will provide the overall storyline and necessary context, the heart of this class lies in a critical engagement with the assigned readings, in which student participation and discussion will be crucial.
HIST 234 History of Poland
Over the past 25 years, the Poles have transformed their country from a communist regime controlled by the Soviet Union to a democratic society based on a free market economy. This class explores the antecedents of contemporary problems in Poland. It examines the social, political, and cultural history of the Polish lands from the earliest written record in the 10th century to the present day. The course considers the consolidation and expansion of the Polish state in the medieval and early modern periods, the evolution (and decline) of “noble democracy,” repeated foreign incursions and Poland’s changing place in the world. Emphasizing the changing meanings of Polishness over time, we look at the fluctuating boundaries of Polish territory, the shifting membership in the Polish national community, and the diverse population that comprised this heterogeneous state. Topics include the Golden Age of Polish culture, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Poland, constitutionalism and the 18th century partitions, the rise of modern nationalism, the construction of democracy during the interwar Second Republic, the impact of the dual Nazi and Soviet occupations, the Nazi Holocaust; Communism and political dissidence, Solidarity and the collapse of the communist system, and the transition to liberal democracy.
HIST 237 The Russian Empire in the Modern Period: History, Culture and the Challenges of Diversity
This course surveys the history of the Russian Empire as a multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural space. We will analyze how this space was constructed politically and culturally, and how it was experienced by various subjects of the empire in its different localities. We will trace how the understanding of Russianness evolved from the imperial to the national concept and identity. History is always about telling stories, and thus about remembering names, circumstances, and the sequence of events. However, learning facts about the Russian Empire is not the ultimate goal of the class. It is just a necessary prerequisite for the much more challenging task of imagining life in a very different society and understanding how this complex and unevenly organized imperial society functioned. How were empires perceived in the long nineteenth century? What mechanisms did they use to govern their diverse populations? How did empires create nations and at the same time nourish hybrid and situational identities? And what were the unique features of the Russian Empire as a modernizing state?
In short, this course is about the Russian Empire as an example of a complex and diverse society and polity adjusting to challenges of modernity such as the rationalization of governance, social, and cultural unification, the rise of mass societies, mass politics, and popular culture, and the rise of nationalism. Students who take this class are invited to share their own experiences of living in multicultural environments.
No textbook is required. Reading for the course is available from BB or the library.
HIST 246 History of American Capitalism
This course surveys the rise and development of capitalism in colonial British America and the United States, with special attention to property, labor, finance, public policy, ideology, and class relations. Major topics include the ways in which the imperatives of private profit, competition, and commodity-production came to govern political, economic, and social relations in early America; the relationship between capitalist development and the growth of chattel slavery; the rise of paid labor as the predominant way of organizing work and production; the commodification of land, the rise of capitalist agriculture, and the transformation of Americans’ relations with the natural environment and natural resources; the rise of big business, mass production, and mass consumption; financial panics and economic depressions; suburban development and “urban crises”; neoliberalism, financialization, and globalization.
HIST 248 African American History since 1877
HIST 253 The Worker in American Life
This class introduces students to the major historical transformations in the lives of American working people and considers the ideas, movements, and organizations which have defined a collective response to changing conditions. Course materials mix labor history, worker autobiography and folklore, oral history, and labor song, documentary, and film.
HIST 255 History of Chicago
MWF 12-12:50pm, 2LCC
History 255 is a survey of Chicago from the French colonial exploration of Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet in 1673 through the early 21st century. This course introduces key moments in the city’s history, charts neighborhood transformations, maps the city’s political, economic, social, and cultural trends, and examines the lives of Chicagoans throughout time.
HIST 258 Topics in Intellectual History: Islamic Intellectual History
This course will trace the origins, development and maturation of genres of writing that have come to be understood as central to the Islamic intellectual tradition – law; spirituality and ethics; and theology, philosophy and science. Rather than succumb to the temptation to view these fields as static and resistant to development, we will adopt a historical approach which considers the significant changes they have undergone over the centuries. We will pay particular attention to writers who have been responsible for producing innovative work from within the idioms and norms of these traditions, and examine the social circumstances and discursive commitments that influenced their respective approaches. Students will learn how to read primary sources in these genres (in translation); identify the key debates that have animated them; learn about the historical contexts of important works and their authors; study the Western scholarly reception of, and interest in, these fields; and examine their fate in the contemporary Muslim world.
HIST 262 Latin America Since 1850
This class examines major events and processes in the modern history of Latin America. The course is organized thematically. We will read landmark texts as well as recent publications on a range of topics, including: anti-colonial mobilizations and slave emancipation in Haiti (Saint Domingue); indigenous rebellions in the central Andean region; independence of Spanish America; empire, slavery, and liberalism in Brazil; independence and slave emancipation in Cuba; the rise of the U.S. Empire in the Caribbean basin; discourses on race and nation in Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico; twenty century revolutions in Mexico, Cuba, and Central America; and the Cold War in Latin America. Students enrolled in this class will learn about the evolution of this field of historical research and enhance their research, writing, and analytical skills through a variety of activities and assignments.
HIST 263 African American Intellectual History
HIST 266 Mexico Since 1850
This course provides an introduction into the social, cultural, and political history of Mexico from the decades after independence to the present.
HIST 272 China Since 1911
The history of China since 1911 has been characterized by dramatic changes in many areas including forms of government, family life, women’s roles, economic systems, and areas of intellectual inquiry. In many ways 1911 (or indeed the whole twentieth century) marks a divide between “traditional” China and “modern” China. New technologies and ways of thinking introduced during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries resulted in changes that made age-old philosophies and patterns of behavior no longer viable. The major unifying theme of the course relates to the resultant search for new systems of meaning through which China would come to define itself both in relation to other nations, and in relation to the past. This course will help students understand the historical background shaping event and debates in China today.
HIST 276 Modern South Asia, 1857 to the Present
South Asia has been in the public eye of international politics in the last several decades from concerns over the rise of religious fundamentalisms in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India and violent insurgencies in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In order to comprehend the contemporary political context of the region, it is important to understand the region’s thrust into the global order in the last 150 years. Given this premise, the course will begin with the 1857 revolt against British imperial power on the Indian subcontinent and end with reflections on the state of (and viability of) political democracy in the region, with a focus on the contemporary states of India and Pakistan and to a lesser degree Afghanistan and Bangladesh. We will use a wide variety of sources from contemporary documentaries, novels, and journalistic accounts of Indian society.
HIST 285 Cultural History of Modern Greece: 1453 to the Present
MWF 3-3:50pm, 216 2TH
P Papamichos Chronakis
HIST 288 History of Modern Puerto Rico
This course provides an introduction to the history of Puerto Rico, the world’s longest held territory. Here we will examine the island’s historical trajectory from a colony of Spain to one of the United States. In turn we will examine how this history of Spanish and U.S. colonialism have shaped Puerto Rican cultural production, politics, and economics.
HIST 290 Mexican-American History
Today, some 35 million people of Mexican origin live in the United States, including more than 11 million immigrants. How did Mexicans come to represent the largest immigrant group in the country and around 11% of the total population? This course explores the history of Mexican Americans since the middle of the 19th century. Students will learn about the diverse experiences of ethnic Mexicans through a close examination of primary sources, secondary texts, fiction, and film. We will cover, among other topics, the US-Mexican war and the creation of the US-Mexico border; Mexican American identity and community formation; the history of Mexican Chicago; intra-ethnic relations; gender; labor organizing; the Bracero Program and undocumented migration; return migration, repatriation, and deportation; Cesar Chavez and the farm worker movement; the Chicana/o Movement; NAFTA and the militarization of the border; and contemporary migration and transnational immigrant activism.
HIST 292 History and Theories of Feminism
HIST 296 Fascism and Dictatorship in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean
MWF 1-1:50pm, 369 2BSB
P Papamichos Chronakis
HIST 300 History Methods Colloquium: Nationalism and Individualism in Modern European History
HIST 300 History Methods Colloquium: Slavery and Abolition in the US
HIST 320 Teaching History and the Related Disciplines
HIST 405 Herodotus and His World
HIST 418 Topics in German History: The German Dictatorship
A discussion/lecture course with extensive primary and secondary source reading, History 418 deals with the effects of industrialization and the many faceted political and social crisis it precipitated in the period 1890-1945. The causes of the disintegration of the Bismarckian state in the First World War, that failure’s effect on the aborted democracy of the Weimar Republic, the historical roots of the Nazi “answer” to the Great Depression, and the division and reunification of Germany are the topics covered. Performance on four quizzes and three critical book reviews [4-6pp] chosen from a supplementary reading list will determine the student’s final grade.
HIST 420 Teaching the Social Sciences
HIST 435 Topics in Russian History: "Living the Revolutionary Utopia": Selected Topics in Intellectual, Cultural and Sociopolitical History of the USSR in the 1920s and 1930s
The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that put an end to the dynastic imperial regime and inaugurated a long and bloody period of civil war was a quite momentous event that took place in October 1917. The Russian Revolution as a modernist project of the fundamental remaking of social order and human nature has a much longer history. It had been unfolding since at least the nineteenth century in multiple spheres of human activity and imagination, including politics, science, literature, and arts. The period of the 1920s through the early 1930s became the moment when the Revolution as the Bolsheviks’ seizing political power and the Revolution as a futuristic project of global transformation of the old world clashed in the context of the post-civil-war reconstruction of society. The configurations of the new Soviet life and the new Soviet multinational state became the focus of contested projects. One perceptive historian compared this early Soviet period with a laboratory as a site of experiments. It was only retrospectively that this process of trial and error became reinterpreted as an element of some initial plan, on the road to “totalitarianism.” In this seminar, we will familiarize ourselves with multidisciplinary innovative studies of the period. We will consider different examples of elaboration, implementation, domestication, taming, or overcoming of revolutionary utopianism and futurism, in trying to understand how people create new forms of life, moral, knowledge, gender order, postcolonial arrangements, and new state institutions—in other words, how they lived the Revolution.
HIST 440 History Research Seminar
During the early twentieth century, social activists, reformers, writers, and artists hotly debated ideas about how to define and realize “the common good” in a diverse democratic nation. Jane Addams Hull House, on the UIC campus, played a significant role in forging solutions to the pressing social problems of the day – immigration; inequality; public education; health and nutrition; criminal justice; and social welfare.
Students in History 440 will research projects in conjunction with the Jane Addams Hull House Museum’s “Securing The Common Good” project. Students will utilize the basic skills needed to conduct historical research: conceptualize an historical problem, navigate the library, produce a bibliography and outlines, produce drafts, and revise a primary-source based research paper.
HIST 440 History Research Seminar
How does armed conflict affect the lives of people caught up in military occupations? How do civilians react to the challenges of wartime deprivations, forced exodus, the dislocation of families, social revolution, and genocide? Recent developments in the Middle East and elsewhere have thrown these questions into sharp relief. This research seminar explores the everyday lived experience of civilians on the home front, focusing initially on Europe during World Wars I and II. The main focus of the course is the production of a major research paper based on primary documentation. Students may elect to write on any topic connected with the civilian experience during any war.
The seminar will review and cement the basic skills needed to conduct historical research: conceptualizing an historical problem, navigating the library, producing a bibliography and outline, writing drafts, and finalizing a primary-source based research paper.
HIST 454 Topics in Twentieth-Century United States History: Beyond the Wall: the US-Mexico Border in History & Culture
HIST 473 Topics in East Asian History: Dissent in China, from Earliest Times to the Present
HIST 475 Educational Practice with Seminar I
HIST 476 Educational Practice with Seminar II
HIST 477 Topics in Middle Eastern History: Modernity and Colonialism in the Islamic World
This advanced seminar introduces students to current trends in the study of modernity and colonialism in the Muslim world. Turning our attention away from the heavily charged debates on the (in)compatibility of Islam and modernity, we will adopt a historical perspective on Muslim encounters with “the modern” (itself a contested term). Throughout, we will pay special attention to the role of colonial power in facilitating and structuring those encounters. To begin, we will orient ourselves by considering two accounts that compare the pre-modern past to the transformations brought about by modernity. After a methodological discussion on the theoretical issues raised by the critique of Orientalism, we will examine a number of case studies that attempt to uncover the modalities and mechanisms by which colonial modernity reshaped the institutions and sensibilities of the Muslim world. We will then move on to consider the related question of how Muslim social imaginaries and knowledge traditions have both demonstrated resilience and been subject to significant refashioning as a result of changed circumstances. Students will gain a familiarity with central themes that are driving the scholarly study of Muslim societies in the colonial and post-colonial periods.
HIST 485 Topics in African and African American History
HIST 492 Topics in Intellectual History: Early American Social Thought
This course explores a series of major themes in the history of American social thought from the beginning of English colonization of North America in the early seventeenth century to the Civil War. Its general concern is the complex, reciprocal relationship between changing political and economic institutions, on the one hand, and changing ideas about selfhood and society, rights and resources, property and power, on the other. With this in mind, five main units examine in turn: first, Puritan ideals of Christian piety and commonwealth in relation to commercial development in colonial British America; second, the role of Enlightenment conceptions of human nature, societal development, private property, and popular sovereignty in the American Revolution and debates over the Constitution; third, agrarian, feminist, and democratic critiques of the transformation of household and labor relations in the early American republic; fourth, evangelical and Romantic responses to the growth of market relations in the antebellum era, with particular attention to the Transcendentalist movement; and fifth, the rise of antislavery, proslavery, and humanitarian thought amid the widening sectional divide leading up to the Civil War.