Hum/H 1. American History. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 2. Which Side Are You On? 20th Century African American History Through Debate. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 3. The United States in the Twentieth Century. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 5. The History of the Chinese Empire. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 8 a. Civilization, Science, and Archaeology: Before Greece: The Origins of Civilization in Mesopotamia. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 8 b. Civilization, Science, and Archaeology: The Development of Science from Babylon through the Renaissance. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 8 c. Civilization, Science, and Archaeology: The Nature of Religious Beliefs in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel and the Nature of Religious Belief. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 9 a. European Civilization: The Classical and Medieval Worlds. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 9 b. European Civilization: Early Modern Europe. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 9 c. European Civilization: Modern Europe. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 10. Medieval Europe: The Problem of Violence. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H 11. Love and Death: Using Demography to Study the History of Europe from 1700. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
Hum/H/HPS 18. Introduction to the History of Science. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Humanities.
H 60. Reading in History. Units to be determined for the individual by the division; any term. Reading in history and related subjects, done either in connection with the regular courses or independently, but under the direction of members of the department. A brief written report will usually be required. Graded pass/fail. Not available for credit toward humanities-social science requirement.
E/H/VC 89. New Media Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Engineering.
H 98. Reading in History. 9 units (1-0-8). Prerequisite: instructor’s permission. An individual program of directed reading in history, in areas not covered by regular courses. Instructor: Staff.
H 99 abc. Research Tutorial. 9 units (1-0-8). Prerequisite: instructor’s permission. Students will work with the instructor in the preparation of a research paper, which will form the basis of an oral examination. Instructor: Staff.
H 108 a. The Early Middle Ages. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course is designed to introduce students to the formative period of Western medieval history, roughly from the fourth through the tenth centuries. It will emphasize the development of a new civilization from the fusion of Roman, Germanic, and Christian traditions, with a focus on the Frankish world. The course focuses on the reading, analysis, and discussion of primary sources. Instructor: Brown. Not offered 2019–20.
H 108 b. The High Middle Ages. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. This course is designed to introduce students to European history between 1000 and 1400. It will provide a topical as well as chronological examination of the economic, social, political, and religious evolution of western Europe during this period, with a focus on France, Italy, England, and Germany. The course emphasizes the reading, analysis, and discussion of primary sources. Instructor: Brown. Not offered 2019–20.
H 109. Medieval Knighthood. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This course tells the story of the knight from his beginnings in the early Middle Ages, through his zenith in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, to his decline and transformation in the late medieval and early modern periods. The course treats the knight not simply as a military phenomenon but also as a social, political, religious, and cultural figure who personified many of the elements that set the Middle Ages apart. Not offered 2019–20.
H 111. The Medieval Church. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This course takes students through the history of the medieval Christian Church in Europe, from its roots in Roman Palestine, through the zenith of its power in the high Middle Ages, to its decline on the eve of the Reformation. The course focuses on the church less as a religion (although it will by necessity deal with some basic theology) than as an institution that came to have an enormous political, social, cultural, and economic impact on medieval life, and for a brief time made Rome once more the mistress of Europe. Instructor: Brown. Not offered 2019–20.
H 112. The Vikings. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course will take on the Scandinavian seafaring warriors of the 8th–11th centuries as a historical problem. What were the Vikings, where did they come from, and how they did they differ from the Scandinavian and north German pirates and raiders who preceded them? Were they really the horned-helmeted, bloodthirsty barbarians depicted by modern popular media and by many medieval chronicles? What effect did they have in their roughly two centuries of raiding and colonization on the civilizations of medieval and ultimately modern Europe? Instructor: Brown.
H 115 abc. British History. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. The political and cultural development of Great Britain from the early modern period to the twentieth century. H 115 a covers the Reformation and the making of a Protestant state (1500–1700). H 115 b examines the Enlightenment and British responses to revolutions in France and America (1700–1830). H 115 c is devoted to the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1830–1918). H 115 a is not a prerequisite for H 115 b; neither it nor H 115 b is a prerequisite for H 115 c. Part a and c not offered in 2019–20. Instructor: Styles.
H 121. American Radicalism. 9 units (3-0-6); offered by announcement. The course will cover a number of radical social, political, and artistic movements in 20th-century America. A focus on the first two decades of the century will center around the poet, journalist, and revolutionary John Reed and his circle in Greenwich Village. Topics will include their involvement with artistic experimentation, the Industrial Workers of the World, the Mexican Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and the movements for birth control and against American involvement in World War I. Other areas of concentration will be the Great Depression of the ‘30s, with its leftist political and labor actions, and the freewheeling radicalism of the ‘60s, including the anti-Vietnam protests, Students for a Democratic Society, and the ethnic struggles for social and political equality. Some reference will be made to the anti-globalization movements of today. Not offered 2019–20.
H 123. Ordinary People: Uncovering Everyday Life in the European Past. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. In the historical record, much attention is given to wealthy elites (rulers and lawmakers, aristocrats, wealthy merchants), since they were the ones who left written records of their political and economic activities and their personal affairs. But what about the vast majority of people who lived in the past, most of whom were barely literate and had little opportunity to ‘make history’? What can we know about them? This class focuses on the lives of ordinary people, and the sources historians use to learn about them. Special attention will be given to women, the poor, and other marginalized groups in societies ranging from England in the west to Russia in the east. Instructor: Dennison.
H/SS 124. Problems in Historical Demography. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Birth, marriage, and death—the most basic events in people’s lives—are inextricably linked to larger economic and social phenomena. An understanding of these basic events can thus shed light on the economic and social world inhabited by people in the past. In this course students will be introduced to the sources and methods used by historical demographers to construct demographic measures for past populations. In addition, the course will cover a broad range of problems in historical demography, including mortality crises, fertility control, infant mortality, and the role of economic and social institutions in demographic change. While the emphasis is on societies in the past, there will be some discussion of modern demographic trends in various parts of the world. Not offered 2019–20.
H 125. Soviet Russia. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Why was the Russian Revolution of 1917 successful? And how did the Soviet system survive nearly 75 years? These questions will be addressed in the wider context of Russian history, with a focus on political, economic, and social institutions in the pre- and post-revolutionary period. Subjects covered include the ideological underpinnings of Bolshevism, Lenin and the Bolshevik coup, the rise of Stalin, collectivization, socialist realism, the command economy, World War II, the Krushchev ‘thaw’, dissident culture and the arts, popular culture, and Gorbachev’s perestroika. A variety of sources will be used, including secondary historical literature, fiction, film, and art. Instructor: Dennison. Not offered 2019–20.
H 130. Innovative History. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. In recent years some historians have experimented with new and innovative ways of telling the past-on the printed page, using film and video, and on the Internet. The course will focus on these new approaches to historical presentation and knowledge. Students will read, watch, and interact with various examples of these innovative historical works. They will also be exposed to the critiques of traditional historical writing from philosophers, literary critics, and postmodern theorists, which provide intellectual underpinning for experimenting with new forms of history. Not offered 2019–20.
H 131. History of Extinction. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Humans are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction—the first to be caused by human activity. Extinction has been viewed in changing ways over the past 200 years, and this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to learning about the extinction process from a historical as well as a modern perspective. Our focus will be on the extinction of biological entities, but we will also touch on other systems that have disappeared: languages, technologies, habitats, and ways of living. Central to our endeavors will be asking what it means to live in this time of loss: Should we mourn? And if so, how do we mourn for what many or most of us do not see, but only read about? Finally, we will scrutinize what the practical effects of extinction have been, are, and will be. We will also make at least one visit to a natural history museum to view some extinct species behind the scenes. Instructor: Lewis. Not offered 2019–20.
H 132. Humanistic Ecology. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Humans’ conceptions of nature have changed dramatically over time. Ecological systems influence human culture, politics, law, and many other spheres, and in turn, humans influence those systems. This class introduces students to the field of humanistic ecology—a discipline that looks to a number of cultural, political, historical and economic elements to better understand the role of ecology in a larger sphere outside of its scientific structure and uses. Humanistic ecology is designed to provide context for the study of ecology, and in a fundamental way, focuses on the appropriate role of humanity in its relationship to nature: what is ethical, or not, what is useful, or not, and a variety of other matters that should be considered when taking a fully three-dimensional view of ecological science. Instructor: Lewis. Not offered 2019–20.
H 133. Forests and Humans. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Forests - which cover 31 percent of the world’s land surface - have played essential roles in enhancing the planet’s biodiversity. Forests have also served humans in numerous and often controversial ways, and have also been subjected to dramatic change through human activity. How well have we served forests, as well as being served by them? The class will cover the growth and use of forests from a humanistic and historic perspective, as well as discussions about the role of fire in forests, with a particular emphasis on the unprecedented forest fires in California in the past several years and the global ecological implications. Instructor: Lewis.
H 134. Birds, Evolution, Speciation and Society. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. The cultural, scientific, social and political roles of birds make them an excellent lens through which to view humans’ interactions with the natural world. This course will cover our changing understandings of birds, starting with hawking and falconry in earlier centuries, through the discovery of new species, up through Darwinian understandings of speciation and evolution, and continuing up to present scientific understandings of birds’ capabilities and their ties to humankind, as well as to other anchors in the natural world. We will take a strong biographical as well as avian approach to understanding key personalities who furthered our understandings of avian science. Instructor: Lewis.
H 135. War, Conquest, and Empires. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This course will use historical examples of war and conquest and ask why some periods of history were times of warfare and why certain countries developed a comparative advantage in violence. The examples will come from the history of Europe and Asia, from ancient times up until World War I, and the emphasis throughout will be on the interplay between politics, military technology, and social conditions. Instructor: Hoffman.
H 136. Caltech in the Archives. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This class will introduce students to the methods of archival work in the humanities and social sciences. Over the course of the quarter students will receive an introduction to factors surrounding the collection, organization, and use of various types of archives as a background to several small-scale projects working in an archival collection of their own choosing. The seminar will center around weekly projects and synthetic analytical essays about the archival process and archival discoveries. Students hoping to combine their course work with an archive-based research paper may sign up for a separate independent study and conduct research concurrently, with instructor approval. Instructor: Dykstra.
H 137. Criminals, Outlaws, and Justice in a Thousand Years of Chinese History. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course explores the shifting boundary between discourses of crime and disobedience over the last millennium or so of Chinese history. It offers fictional, philosophical, political, propagandistic, official, and personal writings on crime and those who commit it as a basis for a wide-ranging series of discussions about when breaking the law is good, when breaking the law is bad, and who gets to decide where the line between a criminal and an outlaw should be drawn. Instructor: Dykstra. Not offered 2019–20.
H 138. The Way. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course introduces students to some of the seminal writings on the meaning of life, the essentials of rulership, and the place of the individual in the universe from the history of Chinese thought and philosophy. Students are given selected readings from several schools of thought in Chinese history, with an emphasis on the formative Warring States era (the period of the Hundred Schools of classical Chinese philosophy). Instead of being asked to write expository or argumentative essays, participants in this seminar will be introduced to analyzing and presenting texts using the method of annotation. Exposure to the principles of annotation will provide students with a new approach to analyzing and talking about texts both within a humanistic context and beyond. Not offered 2019–20. Instructor: Dykstra.
H 139. Translation Theory and Practice (Chinese Historical Sources Seminar). 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see L 139. Instructor: Dykstra.
H/L 142. Perspectives on History through Russian Literature. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. The Russian intelligentsia registered the arrival of modern urban society with a highly articulate sensitivity, perhaps because these changes—industrialization, the breakdown of traditional hierarchies and social bonds, the questioning of traditional beliefs—came to Russia so suddenly. This gives their writings a paradigmatic quality; the modern dilemmas that still haunt us are made so eloquently explicit in them that they have served as models for succeeding generations of writers and social critics. This course explores these writings (in English translation) against the background of Russian society, focusing especially on particular works of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Goncharov, Tolstoy, and Turgenev. Instructor: Dennison.
Law/PS/H 148 ab. The Supreme Court in U.S. History. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Law.
H 149. Age of Fracture: America Since 1974. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. In this course, we will examine America after Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974, a period that historians have referred to as an age of fracture and social disaggregation. Using fracture as a conceptual framework to investigate American politics and culture in the last quarter of the twentieth century, we’ll consider how the recent past has informed present-day American society. Themes of study will include the culture wars, political polarization, globalization, and the growing wealth gap. In addition, we’ll investigate the theoretical and methodological challenges of doing recent history. Instructor: Wiggins.
H 150. America in the 1960s. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. The course adopts a thematic approach to the “long 1960s,” engaging in depth with the political, social, and cultural trends that shaped the decade. Topics include the African American struggle for civil rights, the “urban crisis,” Cold War culture, liberalism at high tide, the Vietnam War, sexual liberation, the New Left and counterculture, as well as the rise of the New Right. Throughout, the course interrogates the privileged role given the 1960s in American history, questioning to what extent the decade marked a departure from the American past or a continuation of long-running trends. Instructor: Savage.
H 151. The Long(er) Civil Rights Movement: From Emancipation to Black Lives Matter. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Taking historian Jacqueline Dowd Hall’s call to expand the chronology of the civil rights narrative rather generously, this course explores African American freedom struggles over a period bookended by emancipation and the Black Lives Matter movement. Through an analysis of a wide array of historical sources, the course will also examine topics such as Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Northern and Western segregation, and mass incarceration. Instructor: Savage.
H 152. Where Do We Go from Here? Black America in the Post-Civil Rights Era. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This course will examine African American politics, culture, and society in the decades following the passage of landmark civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Topics of discussion will include deindustrialization and the rise of hip hop culture, black feminist and queer thought, debates over welfare and affirmative action, and mass incarceration. Analyzing a variety of political and cultural artifacts as well as cutting-edge secondary literature, we will investigate various moments in recent African American history to gain insight into changing notions of rights, citizenship, equality, and freedom in American society. Instructor: Wiggins.
HPS/H 160. Einstein and His Generation: The History of Modern Physical Sciences. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
H 161. Selected Topics in History. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Instructor: Styles.
HPS/H 162. Social Studies of Science. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 166. Historical Perspectives on the Relations between Science and Religion. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 167. Experimenting with History/Historic Experiment. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 168. History of Electromagnetism and Heat Science. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 169. Selected Topics in the History of Science and Technology. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 170. History of Light from Antiquity to the 20th Century. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 171. History of Mechanics from Galileo through Euler. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 172. History of Mathematics: A Global View with Close-ups. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 175. Matter, Motion, and Force: Physical Astronomy from Ptolemy to Newton. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
HPS/H 180. Forbidden Knowledge. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see History and Philosophy of Science.
H 184. Travel, Mobility, Migration. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. People, objects, and knowledge in the European Age of Revolutions, 1770-1848. The aim of this course is to examine the movement of peoples, cultural artifacts, and the dissemination of different sorts of knowledge, during and after the Revolutionary upheavals and nationalist struggles of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Topics will include nationalism and multi-national communities; political and intellectual exile; imperial ambition, science and knowledge; the effects of warfare on patterns of migration; looting, theft and cultural property. The class will include a number of in-depth case studies, including Italy and South Asia. Not offered 2019–20.
H/HPS/VC 185. Angels and Monsters: Cosmology, Anthropology, and the Ends of the World. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course explores late medieval European understandings of the origins, structure, and workings of the cosmos in the realms of theology, physics, astronomy, astrology, magic, and medicine. Attention is given to the position of humans as cultural creatures at the intersection of nature and spirit; as well as to the place of Christian Europeans in relation to non-Christians and other categories of outsiders within and beyond Europe. We will examine the knowledge system that anticipated racializing theories in the West. Instructor: Wey-Gomez. Not offered 2019–20.
H/HPS/VC 186. From Plato to Pluto: Maps, Exploration and Culture from Antiquity to the Present. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course covers a broad range of topics in the history of maps and exploration from Antiquity to the present. These topics range from the earliest visualizations of earth and space in the Classical world to contemporary techniques in interplanetary navigation. By way of maps, students will explore various ways in which different cultures have conceptualized and navigated earth and space. While maps emulate the world as perceived by the human eye, they, in fact, comprise a set of observations and perceptions of the relationship between bodies in space and time. Thus, students will study maps, and the exploration they enable, as windows to the cultures that have produced them, not only as scientific and technical artifacts to measure and navigate our world. Instructors: Wey-Gomez, Ceva.
H 187. The Constitution in the Early Republic. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This course will trace many of the major constitutional debates that occurred during the first half-century of U.S. History. We will look to the courts, to the legislatures, to Presidents, and to constitutional theorists of the Early Republic to gain insight into how the first generations of Americans understood their Constitution and the governments and rights it recognized. During this formative period, Americans contemplate the location of sovereignty in a federated republic, the rights and privileges of citizenship, and the role of judicial review in a democratic society. Though we will remain firmly entrenched in the period before the Civil War, we will find that many of the issues that created constitutional strife two centuries ago are still relevant to the constitutional questions of today. Not offered 2019–20.
H 188. Origins of the US Civil War. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. The purpose of this course is to investigate the various causes of the US Civil War. Students will be exposed to prevailing interpretations, which rely mostly on national frames of reference when identifying the economic, political, and constitutional causes of the Sectional Crisis and War. Half of the term will be devoted to these themes. Subsequently, we will be spending the second half of the term examining recent scholarship that examines the international factors on the brewing Sectional Crisis, from the ramifications of British Emancipation to the fluctuating global cotton market. During the last week, we will discuss these interpretative differences and identify possible avenues of synthesis. Students will leave the course with a thorough understanding of the causes of the Civil War and an introduction to transnational influences on American historical development. Not offered 2019–20.
H 189. The Ethics of War. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. We tend to think of violence as a breakdown in social order, but warfare, as an organized form of violence, complicates this perspective. Can waging war and upholding justice go hand in hand? In this seminar, we will explore theories of just war from Classical antiquity through the Middle Ages, paying particular attention to methods of categorizing warfare, women at war, and pacifist critiques. The course will conclude by assessing depictions of medieval warfare in contemporary culture, such as Vikings or Game of Thrones. Readings may include Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, medieval handbooks of chivalry, Ælfric of Eynsham, documents from the trial of Joan of Arc, and Thomas More. Not offered 2019–20.
H/L 191. Perspectives on History through German Literature. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Industrialization, economic growth, and democracy came to Germany much later than to England and France, and the forms they took in Germany were filtered through the specific institutional character of Central Europe. German-speaking writers and intellectuals saw these trends from the perspective of indigenous intellectual traditions, and the resulting collisions of values and priorities largely shaped European and American social, political, and literary debates for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This course explores these writings (in English translation) against the historical background of Central European society, focusing on particular works of Goethe, Hoffmann, Heine, Nietzsche, Kafka, Rilke, and Mann. Instructor: Dennison. Not offered 2019–20.
H 192. The Crusades. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. This course will introduce students to the series of religiously motivated European invasions of the Middle and Near East that began at the end of the eleventh century and that led to the creation of Latin Christian principalities in Palestine. Though the crusading movement came to embroil much of Europe itself, the course will focus strictly on the military expeditions to what the Crusaders called the Holy Land, and the history of the Crusader states up to the point of their destruction at the end of the thirteenth century. The course will be guided by the following questions: how did medieval Christianity justify wars of aggression against foreign peoples and religions? What motivated western Europeans to leave their homes and march into a hostile environment, where they often faced impoverishment if not death and where maintaining a Christian presence was a constant struggle? How did they manage to erect stable political entities in alien territory that lasted as long as they did, and how did they have to adapt their own culture to do so? Finally, how did the native peoples of the regions the Crusaders invaded and conquered—Muslim but also Christian and Jewish — perceive the Crusaders? How did the Crusaders’ presence affect life in a region whose populations had their own ancient histories and patterns of life? Instructor: Brown.
En/H 193. Cervantes, Truth or Dare: Don Quixote in an Age of Empire. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see English.
H 195. Vesuvius and Pompeii: Geology, Archaeology and Antiquity from the Enlightenment to the Present. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. This course examines Vesuvius and Pompeii and the relations between them from the earliest Pompeian discoveries to the present debate about the fate of the buried city, and the plans to cope with an impending Vesuvian eruption. It analyses the changing debates about the volcano—and its place in earth sciences—the development of archaeological techniques and their discoveries, the relationship between a tourist economy and the region, and the public debates about how to deal with disasters and conservation in a rapidly changing political environment. Not offered 2019–20.
En/H 197. American Literature and the Technologies of Reading. 9 units (3-0-6); For course description, see English.
H 201. Reading and Research for Graduate Students. Units to be determined for the individual by the division.