Fall 2020


History 106: Development of the U.S. - 1877-present

The purpose of this class is to study the development of American society from the end of Reconstruction to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the institutions, ideas, and movements which have shaped modern American society. Using both primary and secondary material, the course will not only discuss the chronological development and changes in American society, but also will discuss such topics as industrialization, urbanization, consumption, and popular culture, rise of mass society and mass politics, America as a world power, civil rights and women's movements, Vietnam, and Watergate.

Prof. Lund-Montaño, 4 credits, TTh 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills  Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas


History 151: Before Germs & Genetics - Well/Unwell in the U.S.

Before germ theory, before genetics, before x-rays -- how did various Americans experience and understand bodily change, and diagnose signs and symptoms? Historical study of the realm we now call "medicine" or "health sciences" highlights the fundamental challenge of reading evidence left by people who understood their bodies through vocabularies, categories, and modes of meaning strikingly different from our own. In this course we will consider how ideas about wellness, illness and healing varied among people of different cultures and across time in the US from the late 18th century to around 1900. Topics may include specific diseases (such as smallpox or cholera), reproductive bodies and childbirth, and meanings of classificatory systems (such as type of fever or sweat, shape of nose, bumpiness of skull). Along the way we will begin to consider how Americans came to understand and deploy (or resist) the new explanatory frames of their era, ranging from microbes and heredity to new professions and spaces of bodily examination. Seminar readings include primary sources as well as recent scholarship.

Prof. Lerman, 4 credits, TTh 11:30am-12:50pm

-Fulfills Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas


History 265: Across Borders - U.S./Latin America

This course looks at the dynamics between the United States and Latin America from the turn of the Twentieth century to the free trade agreements of the 1990s. We will focus on the transnational connections between communities and individuals, through the discussion of topics such as race, class, gender, imperialism, nationalism, globalization, migration, consumerism, social movements, and political ideologies. What perceptions did local and foreign people have of each other? How did they change over time? What interactions did migrants, exiles, artists, businessmen, and tourists have with local communities? Were the communities shaped or changed with these new arrivals? In what ways did different commodities, cultural practices, and political ideas travel and translate between the different countries? What role did national-level diplomatic and economic relations play in these histories? Throughout the semester, students will read a broad array of primary and secondary sources that will help them engage critically with these questions and will provide different ways to historicize and contextualize these transnational relationships.

Prof. Lund-Montaño, 4 credits, TTh 10:00-11:20am

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Empires & Colonialism; Revolution, War, & Politics; Social Justice


Spring 2021


History 264: People Called Female - U.S. Perspectives

As the 21st-century adoption of "non-binary" as a label suggests, gender ideologies in the US have mostly presumed a binary: two categories, most often with a clear boundary separating them. If we instead approach historical materials in a spirit of interrogation, we can re-explore the old field of "women's history" with attention to the gender ideologies, intersectionalities, and identity spaces expected and creatively carved out in different contexts, for various and varied people called "female."

Prof. Lerman, 4 credits, TTh 10:00-11:20am

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice


History 297: 19th Century U.S. - Experiment to Empire

The 19th century was a time of great change in the United States. From the launching of the "Republican Experiment" of the new nation through expansion, developing sectionalism, civil war, reconstruction, and the consolidation of nation and empire at the end of the century, Americans wrestled not only with the nature of their government but also with the transformations of expansion, industrial capitalism, urbanization, immigration, race relations, the role of the household, definitions of citizenship, religion, and secularism.

Prof. Lerman, 4 credits, MW 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and Social Sciences distribution and Race & Ethnic Studies requirements.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas; Empires & Colonialism; Revolution, War, & Politics; Social Justice


History 399: Capital Manufactured - Industrial U.S.

This seminar explores early American industrialization and the changing practices of industrial capitalism in the context of 19th-century US ideologies of land, labor, property, and republic. In recent decades, historians have been rewriting old terminologies from "natural resources" to "expansion" to "democracy" through attention to integrating the insights of environmental and settler colonial histories, treating plantation slavery as capitalist enterprise, and rereading labor history through the intersections of gender and racialization theory -- recasting narratives of nation as well as old models of economic growth and social ideals. Prerequisites: History 299 or consent of instructor.

Prof. Lerman, 4 credits, T 7:30-10:00pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: 39x seminar; modern history