Fall 2022


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, MW 1:00-2:20pm

-Fulfills Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas


History 262: People/Nature/Technology

This class explores human interactions with the environments they inhabit, asking a set of interrelated questions in a range of historical contexts: How have physical environments influenced human choices? How have human choices, assumptions, and cultural practices shaped physical environments? How have people at different places and times understood "nature" and their relationship to it? When do they see "nature" and when "natural resources" and when "technology"? What modes of control of the world around them have they found acceptable or problematic, why, and who should make the choices? The "people" we will attend to inhabit a continent of indigenous nations, colonizing settlers and imperial dreamers, forced migrants and voluntary ones, and (eventually) the full range of citizens primarily of the United States. We will interrogate vocabularies, such as: land, landscape, backcountry, rural, urban, wilderness, park, industrial park... and we will inevitably need to problematize the categories: how do we conceive of the slashes between people/nature/technology, and how does our historical vocabulary shape the questions we ask? This course will make use of primary and secondary sources, and will emphasize reading, writing, and discussion as well as lecture.

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

-Fulfills Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas; Empires & Colonialism


History 265: Neighbors - The U.S. and 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 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and/or Social Sciences distribution.

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


Spring 2023


History 259: U.S. Slavery & Resistance - 19th Century

Race, Violence, Health: the keywords of the 2020-21 academic theme highlight core elements of the vast system of racialized slavery in the United States, and can also point us to potential sites of resistance. Violence was an accepted tool of white owners' control; owners viewed health in terms of energy to work, control of production, and human property values. Resistance, in this view, had to be multifaceted: protecting your children, nurturing family and community, negotiating and navigating the relentless coercion and surveillance of the system, could all feature in a lifetime of strategy. These options, of course, did not preclude escape (effectively stealing one's own self) or, increasingly, the belief that a violent regime could only fall by reciprocal violence. Histories of slavery are often termed "hard history": they are uncomfortable. We will be reading, discussing, and writing (short papers).

Prof. Lerman, 4 credits, MW 1:00-2:20pm

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

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


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/or Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas; 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/or Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: 39x seminar; modern history