History

STEPHEN P. BENSCH, Professor
TIMOTHY J. BURKE, Professor and Chair
ALLISON DORSEY, Professor
BRUCE DORSEY, Professor
PIETER M. JUDSON, Isaac H. Clothier Professor of History and International Relations 2
MARJORIE MURPHY, James C. Hormel Professor in Social Justice 2
ROBERT E. WEINBERG, Professor 1
DIEGO ARMUS, Associate Professor
FARID AZFAR, Assistant Professor
BUYUN CHEN, Assistant Professor
ROSIE BSHEER, Visiting Assistant Professor
JEN MOORE, Administrative Assistant

1 Absent on leave, fall 2013.
2 Absent on leave, spring 2014.

Swarthmore’s History Department gives students the intellectual and analytical skills to think critically about the past and the contemporary world.

It is part of a journey of self-discovery—and crucial to the kind of liberal arts education offered at Swarthmore, because it asks students to question critically the assumptions, values, and principles that guide them in their daily lives. History encourages us to have respect for other cultures and peoples.

What is History?

The study of history is not limited to learning events, dates, and names. History is a method of analysis that focuses on the contexts in which people have lived, worked, and died. Historians seek to go beyond their descriptive abilities and to wrestle with the essential questions of “how” and “why” change occurs over time. They interpret the past and are in constant dialogue with what other historians have written about it. For example, although there may be agreement that Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, historians have and will continue to debate the origins of Nazism, the rise of Hitler to power, and the causes of World War II and the Holocaust. Historical scholarship enables us to not only know what occurred in the past but also to understand the thoughts and actions of people living in other times and places, allowing us to uncover the continuities and disruptions of patterns that characterized life before our time.

Overview of Curriculum

Swarthmore’s history curriculum introduces students to historical methods and the fundamentals of historical thinking, research, and writing. Faculty members expose students to the contested nature of the discipline, cultivating the skills historians employ to understand and interpret the past. Students learn to assess critically the evidence of the past through first-hand exposure to primary sources. They also develop the ability to evaluate the respective arguments of historians. In all courses and seminars, the department strives to involve students in the process of historical discovery and interpretation, emphasizing that all historians are engaged in the constant sifting of old and new evidence.

Each faculty member in the History Department has a regional focus as well as expertise in a particular kind of historical inquiry. Some study social, cultural, and political movements; others examine the impact of religion or explore the history of ideas, sexuality, and gender. They all share a commitment to a global and comparative approach to the study of history and a common pedagogical concern for promoting a critical understanding of the past.

Students are encouraged to hone their skills as historians by using the rich collections of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and Friends Historical Library, both located in McCabe Library. The Peace Collection is unparalleled as a depository of antiwar and disarmament materials, housing the papers of many leading social activists. The Friends Library possesses one of the richest collections of manuscripts and printed source material on Quaker history. The holdings of other institutions in the greater Philadelphia area, such as the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, Del.), the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the American Philosophical Society, are also accessible to the student-researcher. Students are also encouraged to broaden their cultural and intellectual horizons through study abroad.

Students are eligible to apply for grants that will enable them to spend a summer conducting research on a historical topic of their choosing. In the past, students have used these grants to immerse themselves in materials found in libraries and archives around the United States, Europe, and Latin America, collecting materials that formed the basis of their senior research papers. Topics of recent senior theses include tourism and national identity in Latvia, Prussian soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars, conscientious objectors during World War I, female intimacy at Smith College in the late 19th century, and Quaker relations with Native Americans.

Courses and seminars offered by the History Department are integral to most interdisciplinary programs, such as black studies, gender and sexuality studies, interpretation theory, Islamic studies, Latin American studies, peace and conflict studies, and public policy, as well as to the majors in Asian studies and medieval studies. Students interested in these programs should consult the appropriate statements of requirements and course offerings. In addition, we encourage students who wish to obtain teacher certification to major in history.

The Academic Program

First-Year Seminars

First-year seminars (HIST 001A–001Z; 1 credit) explore specific historical issues or periods in depth in a seminar setting; they are open to first-year students only and are limited to 12 students. Students who are not admitted to first-year seminars in the fall will receive priority for seminars in the spring.

Survey Courses

Survey courses provide broad chronological coverage of a particular field of history. Survey courses (002010; 1 credit) are open to all students without prerequisites and are designed to offer a general education in the field as well as provide preparation for a range of upper-level courses. Although these entry-level courses vary somewhat in approach, they normally focus on major issues of interpretation, the analysis of primary sources, and historical methodology.

Upper-Division Courses

Upper-division courses (HIST 011099; 1 credit) are specifically thematic and topical in nature and do not attempt to provide the broad coverage that surveys do. They are generally open to students who have fulfilled one of the following: (1) successfully completed one of the courses numbered 001010; (2) received an Advanced Placement score of 4 or 5 (or a 6 or 7 IB score) in any area of history; (3) successfully completed one of the following Classics courses: 016, 023, 031, 032, 042, 044, 045, 056, or 066; or (4) received the permission of the instructor. Exceptions are courses designated “not open to first-year students” or where specific prerequisites are stated.

Double-Credit Seminars

Double-credit seminars are small classes in which students are expected to take substantial responsibility for the development of the discussion and learning. These seminars focus on the literature of a given field. Critical thinking about secondary sources and historiographical writing constitute their principle objectives. Seminars are limited to 10 students. Admission to these seminars is selective and based on the department’s evaluation of the student’s potential to do independent work and to contribute to seminar discussions. A minimum grade of B+ in at least two history courses taken at Swarthmore and a record of active and informed participation in class discussions are required of all students entering seminars. In addition, recommendations from department faculty members who have taught the student are solicited.

Language Attachment

Certain designated courses offer the option of a foreign language attachment, normally for 0.5 credit. Arrangements for this option should be made with the instructor at the time of registration.

Course Major Requirements

All majors in history must take at least 9 credits in history that fulfill the following requirements:

  1. They complete at least 6 of their 9 credits at Swarthmore. Only one credit from AP/IB will count toward the 9 credits required for the major.
  2. They take at least one course or seminar at Swarthmore from each of the following categories: (a) before 1750 (including CLAS 016, 023, 031, 032, 042, 044, 045, 056, and 066) and (b) outside Europe and the United States, specifically Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Near East. This distribution requirement encourages students to explore various fields of history and engage in comparative historical analysis. Students must use different courses or seminars to fulfill this requirement.

Senior Research Seminar

All majors must complete the Senior Research Seminar (HIST 091) in which students write a research paper based on primary sources. This course (which counts as one of the required nine credits) satisfies the College’s requirement that all majors have a culminating exercise and is only offered during the fall semester. The department encourages students to consult faculty members about their topics by the end of their junior year and select their topic prior to taking the Senior Research Seminar.

Acceptance Criteria

Admission to the department as a course major normally requires a B average in at least two history courses taken at Swarthmore and a satisfactory standard of work in all courses. Courses in Greek and Roman history offered by the Classics Department count toward the two history courses prerequisite. The department reserves the right to withhold evaluation of applications submitted after the deadline. If after applying a student is deferred, the department will review their application at the end of each semester until the student is either accepted into the major or withdraws his or her application.

Honors Major Requirements

Honors history majors must complete the same credit and distribution requirements as described above. Seminars are the normal mode of preparation for students studying history in the Honors Program. Honors majors will complete three double-credit seminars. Students may substitute Honors Thesis (HIST 180) for one of their seminars. Students wishing to write an Honors Thesis (HIST 180) should declare their intention to the Department and secure an adviser by May 1 of their junior year. Honors majors will also be required to complete the Senior Research Seminar (HIST 091). Honors students may, if their Honors Program requires it, receive approval from the department chair to complete the Senior Research Seminar in the fall of their junior year.

Seminars

Seminars are a collective, collaborative, and cooperative venture among students and faculty members designed to promote self-directed learning. Because the seminar depends on the active participation of all its members, the department expects students to live up to the standards of honors. These standards include attendance at every seminar session, submission of seminar papers according to the deadline set by the instructor, reading of seminar papers before coming to the seminar, completion of all reading assignments before the seminar, respect of the needs of other students who share the reserve readings, and eagerness to engage in a scholarly discussion of the issues raised by the readings and seminar papers. Students earn double-credit for seminars and should be prepared to work at least twice as hard as they do for single-credit courses. The department reminds students that the responsibility for earning honors rests squarely on the students’ shoulders and will review on a regular basis their performance in the program. Failure to live up to the standards outlined previously may disqualify students from continuing in the Honors Program. Students in seminars take a 3-hour written examination at the end of each seminar and receive a grade from the seminar instructor based on the quality of seminar papers and comments during seminar discussions, in addition to the written examination. Seminar instructors will not normally assign grades during the course of the seminar, but they will meet periodically with students on an individual basis during the course of the semester to discuss their progress.

External Examiner Evaluations

Honors students will revise one paper per seminar for their portfolio submitted to external examiners. Revised papers will not be graded but will be included in the portfolio to provide examiners a context for the evaluation of the written examination taken in the spring of the senior year. The thesis and revised seminar papers are due by the end of classes in the spring semester of the students’ senior year.

Revised seminar papers are written in two stages. During the first stage, students confer with their seminar instructor about what paper to prepare for honors and what revisions to plan for these papers. Seminar instructors will offer advice on how to improve the papers with additional readings, structural changes and further development of arguments. The second stage occurs when the student revises the papers independently. Faculty members are not expected to read the revised papers at any stage of the revision process. Each revised paper must be from 2,500 to 4,000 words and include a brief bibliography. Students will submit them to the department office by the end of classes in the spring semester of the students’ senior year. Students who fail to submit their revised papers by the deadline might adversely affect their honorific. Examiners will be notified about late papers.

Study Groups

The department encourages students to form their own study groups to prepare for the external examinations. Although faculty members may, at their convenience, attend an occasional study session, students are generally expected to form and lead the study groups, in keeping with the department’s belief that honors is a collaborative, self-learning exercise that relies on the commitment of students.

Acceptance Criteria

Admission to honors is selective and based on an evaluation of the student’s potential to do independent work and to contribute to seminar discussions. A minimum grade of B+ in at least two history courses taken at Swarthmore and a record of active and informed participation in class discussions are required of all students entering seminars. In addition, recommendations from department faculty members who have taught the student are solicited.

Sophomores hoping to take history seminars in their junior and senior years should give special thought to the seminars that they list in their Sophomore Plans. Seminar enrollments are normally limited to 10. If you are placed in a seminar at the end of your sophomore year, you will be one of 10 students guaranteed a space and you are, in effect, taking the space of another student who might also like to be in the seminar. Consequently, you should not list any seminar in your Sophomore Plan without being quite certain that you intend to take it if you are admitted.

Honors students are expected to maintain a B+ average to continue attending honors seminars and being an honors student. Honors majors who wish to withdraw from the Honors Program and still graduate on time with a course major in history must complete the Senior Research Seminar in the fall of their senior year. The department’s culminating exercise is only offered in the fall semester, with no exceptions.

Honors and Course Minor Requirements

To graduate with a minor in history, a student must complete five history credits at Swarthmore College (AP, transfer credit and study abroad courses do not count). Two of the five credits must be from courses above the introductory level (course numbers 11 and higher; honors minors will meet this requirement with their honors seminar), and one credit may be in a history course offered by the Classics Department (CLAS 016, 023, 031, 032, 042, 044, 045, 056, and 066). Honors minors will complete one double-credit seminar as part of their academic program.

Admission to honors is selective and based on an evaluation of the student’s potential to do independent work and to contribute to seminar discussions. A minimum grade of B+ in at least two history courses taken at Swarthmore and a record of active and informed participation in class discussions are required of all students entering seminars. In addition, recommendations from department faculty members who have taught the student are solicited.

Special Major in History and Educational Studies

Requirements

Students designing a special major in history and educational studies must take six courses in history, including one course in a field other than the United States or Europe. To graduate with a major in History and Educational Studies, a student must also complete our culminating exercise, HIST 091: Senior Research Seminar. With permission, students can complete a two-semester, two-credit thesis (but one credit of this thesis must be HIST 091). Special majors in history and educational studies will work with both an educational studies faculty member and the HIST 091 instructor(s) to complete their one-credit senior research paper or two-credit thesis.

Acceptance Criteria

Admission to the department as a special major follows similar requirements as course majors. Advisers in each department should be consulted when designing a plan.

External Credit

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The History Department will automatically grant one credit to students who have achieved a score of 4 or 5 in the U.S., European, or World History Advanced Placement examinations (or a score of 6 or 7 in the International Baccalaureate examinations) once they have completed any history course number HIST 001 to HIST 010 and earned a grade of C or higher. Students who want credit for a second Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate examination (in a different area of history) must take a second history course at Swarthmore (any course number, including CLAS 016, 023, 031, 032, 042, 044, 045, 056, or 066) and earn a grade of C or higher. The History Department will grant up to two credits for Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate work. Only one credit from AP/IB will count toward the 9 credits required for the history major.

A score of 4 or 5 for Advanced Placement (or a score of 6 or 7 for International Baccalaureate) allows students to take some upper-division courses in the History Department.
Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate credit may be counted toward the number of courses required for graduation and may be used to help fulfill the College’s distribution requirements.

Off-Campus Study

The History Department encourages students to pursue the study of history abroad and grants credit for such study as appropriate. We believe that history majors should master a foreign language as well as immerse themselves in a foreign culture and society. To receive Swarthmore credit for history courses taken during study abroad, a student must have departmental preapproval and have taken at least one history course at Swarthmore (normally before going abroad). Students who want to receive credit for a second course taken abroad must take a second history course at Swarthmore. Students must receive a grade of C or higher to receive history credit at Swarthmore.

Transfer Credit

The History Department does not grant credit for any history courses taken at other U.S. colleges and universities except courses at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania while a registered Swarthmore student.

Teacher Certification

History majors can complete the requirements for teacher certification through a program approved by the state of Pennsylvania. For further information about the relevant set of requirements, please refer to the Educational Studies section of the Bulletin.

Life After Swarthmore

Graduate School

Students who intend to continue the study of history after graduation should bear in mind that a reading knowledge of one or two foreign languages is generally assumed for admission to graduate school.

Career Opportunities

With strong analytical, writing, and research skills, history majors are prepared for a wide range of occupations and professions. Swarthmore College history majors can be found pursuing a broad range of career paths, ranging from government service to the world of medicine, from elementary and high schools to trade unions and public interest foundations, from journalism and publishing to consulting, and from the private to the public sector. Many find that studying history is excellent preparation for law school and business. And others have gone onto graduate school in history and now teach at universities and colleges in the United States and overseas.

Courses

HIST 001A. First-Year Seminar: The Barbarian North

The seminar will explore how Germanic and Celtic societies emerged and solidified their identities as they came into contact with Roman institutions and Latin Christendom from ca. 100 to 1050 A.D. Students will choose to specialize in a current methodology, ranging from archaeology to gender. Writings of the period concerning saints, scholars, kings, and warlords will be stressed.
Eligible for MDST credit.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bensch.

HIST 001D. First-Year Seminar: Antislavery and Abolitionists

A transnational history of this human rights campaign during the 18th and 19th centuries.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001E. First-Year Seminar: Past & Present in Latin America: Problems and Researching Tools

An examination of how historians use a variety of sources—from literature and movies to cartoons, paintings, printed media, statistics, official documents, personal narratives and ads—to interpret the making of colonial and modern Latin America.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Armus.

HIST 001G. First-Year Seminar: The Golden Age of Portability: The Silk Road

With the establishment of the Silk Road trade, cultures situated along the various routes came into contact with new ways of seeing and making that spawned innovations in art, industry, and thought. Organized around the theme of “portability,” each week we will examine a different traded object, including glass, paper, and religious relics.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Chen.

HIST 001H. First-Year Seminar: The Modern Jewish Experience

This seminar focuses on the history of West and East European Jewry (and American Jewry to some extent) from the beginning of Jewish emancipation in the 18th century to the aftermath of the Holocaust.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001J. First-Year Seminar: A New History of the Cold War Era

This seminar focuses on Cold War debates.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001K. First-Year Seminar: Engendering Culture

A seminar focused on the way in which American culture is infused with gender; how culture is constructed and reconstructed to replicate gender roles.
Eligible for GSST or INTP credit.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001M. First-Year Seminar: History of Food in North America

This seminar introduces first year students to the history of competing food cultures, agricultural production, trade, marketing, and animal husbandry, which produced the diet of the United States in the centuries before the American Civil War.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. A. Dorsey.

HIST 001N. First-Year Seminar: Oil and Empire

This course examines the political and social history of oil since the late 19th century, looking at oil’s impact on the rise and fall of empires, the fates of nation-states, its role in war, as well as its varied impact on social and cultural life. This course addresses global trends and processes, from Venezuela to Indonesia and the Niger Delta, but the primary focus will be on the Middle East.
Eligible for ISLM or PEAC credit.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bsheer.

HIST 001Q. First-Year Seminar: Angels of Death: Russia Under Lenin and Stalin

This seminar focuses on the history of Russia from the Revolution of 1917 through the death of Stalin.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001R. First-Year Seminar: Remembering History

Explores the relationship between the creation of personal and collective memory and the production of history.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001S. First-Year Seminar: The American West

An introduction to the history of the American West, this course is designed to challenge the myths and legends associated with the role of the West in the history of the United States.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001T. First-Year Seminar: Cross and Crescent: Muslim-Christian Relations in Historical Perspective

The seminar will selectively explore the interaction of Muslim and Christian communities from the emergence of Islam to contemporary Bosnia.
Eligible for ISLM or MDST credit.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bensch.

HIST 001X. First-Year Seminar: Crime and Punishment in America

From bucket shops to the Sopranos, this course will focus on America’s fascination with crime and its problems with incarceration.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 001Y. First-Year Seminar: The History of the Future

In this seminar, we will trace the history of the idea of “the future,” concentrating on 19th- and 20th-century experience.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 002A. Medieval Europe

The course will explore the emergence of Europe from the slow decline of the Roman world and the emergence of new Germanic and Celtic peoples (3rd to the 15th century). Topics will include the rise of Christianity, the emergence of Western government, the articulation of vernacular culture, and the invention of romance.
Eligible for MDST credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bensch.

HIST 002B. Early Modern Europe

Using primary sources, art, recent scholarship, and film, this course explores the origins of the modern world in Europe and its colonies between the 15th and 18th centuries.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 003A. Modern Europe, 1789 to 1918: The Age of Revolution and Counterrevolution

A survey that covers the impact of the French revolution on European politics, society, and culture during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Recommended for teacher certification.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 003B. Modern Europe, 1890 to the Present: The Age of Democracy and Dictatorship

This course surveys major developments in Europe from the end of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century.
Recommended for teacher certification.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bisno.

HIST 004. Latin American History

Drawing on literature, cinema, newspapers, cartoons, music, official documents, and historical essays, this survey course examines the colonial incorporation of the region into the Atlantic economy; the neo-colonial regimes of the 19th and 20th centuries and their diverse and also convergent historical paths; and the challenges and opportunities of earlier and current globalization trends. Emphasis on changes and continuities over five centuries exploring revolutionary, reformist, and conservative agendas of change as well as gender, class, racial and religious issues.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Armus.

HIST 005A. The United States to 1877

In this thematic survey of American culture and society from the colonial era through the American Civil War and Reconstruction, student interpretation of primary-source documents will be emphasized.
Recommended for teacher certification.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. B. Dorsey.

HIST 005B. The United States from 1877 to the Present

American society, culture, and politics from Reconstruction to the recent past.
Recommended for teacher certification.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 006A. The Formation of the Islamic Near East

An introduction to the history of the Near East from the time of Muhammad to the rise of the Ottomans. The course will examine the life of Muhammad, the political dimensions of Islam, and the diversification of Islamic civilization through shari’a, mysticism, philosophy, and the religious sciences.
Eligible for ISLM or MDST credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bensch.

HIST 006B. The Modern Middle East

This survey course is designed at once to introduce students to the broader historical narratives and historiographical debates associated with major local, regional, and global events and processes that have most profoundly affected the political, social, cultural, and intellectual realities, past and present, of the modern Middle East. We will draw on readings from various disciplinary areas, including history, anthropology, politics, and literature.
Eligible for ISLM or PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bsheer.

HIST 007A. African American History, 1619 to 1865

The social, political, and economic history of African Americans from the 1600s to the Civil War focuses on slavery and resistance, the development of racism, the slave family, and cultural contributions of enslaved peoples.
Recommended for teacher certification.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. A. Dorsey.

HIST 007B. African American History, 1865 to Present

Students study the history of African Americans from Reconstruction through the present. Emancipation, industrialization, cultural identity, and political activism are studied through monographs, autobiography, and literature.
Recommended for teacher certification.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 008A. West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade, 1500 to 1850

This survey course focuses on the origins and impact of the slave trade on West African societies and on processes of state formation and social change within the region during this era. This course will use an experimental format in which students and the professor will work together in-class to refine and answer the questions, “Why did West and Central African societies become involved in the Atlantic slave trade? What were the consequences of their involvement?”
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Burke.

HIST 008B. Mfecane, Mines, and Mandela: Southern Africa from 1650 to the Present

This course surveys southern African history from the establishment of Dutch rule at the Cape of Good Hope to the present day, focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 008C. From Leopold to Kabila: Central Africa’s Bad 20th Century

A survey of central African history from the coming of Belgian colonial rule to recent conflicts in the Congo and Rwanda.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 009A. Chinese Civilization

This course explores the history of premodern China, spanning the Neolithic Age to the mid-19th century. We will learn about the rise and fall of successive dynasties, shifting social hierarchies, and the traffic of goods and people that underpinned the transformation of China’s social, political, and cultural order.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 009B. Modern China

This course is an introduction to the intellectual, social, and economic forces that shaped the history of modern China. We will rely heavily on primary sources as we try to reconstruct the plural, contradictory, and fluid ways in which Chinese intellectual and political leaders viewed themselves as “modern.”
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Chen.

HIST 012. Chivalric Society: Knights, Ladies, and Peasants

The emergence of a new knightly culture in the 11th and 12th centuries will be explored through the Peace of God, crusades, courtly love, lordship, and seigneurialism.
Eligible for MDST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 014. Friars, Heretics, and Female Mystics: Religious Turmoil in the Middle Ages

An exploration of radical movements of Christian perfection, evangelical poverty, heresy, and female mystics that emerged in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century.
Eligible for MDST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 015. From Classical Rome to Renaissance Florence: The Making of Urban Europe

The course will explore the emergence of Western towns from the decline of the ancient city to burgeoning of Western urban forms. Were medieval towns the seedbeds of distinctive communal organization and capitalism? To answer this question, students will explore the material foundations, family structures, communal expression, commercial structures, and architectural projection of Western urbanism.
Eligible for MDST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bensch.

HIST 016. Sex, Sin, and Kin in Early Europe

This course will explore the transformation of attitudes regarding sexuality, kinship, structures, marriage, and inheritance from Late Antiquity to the early modern period.
Eligible for GSST or MDST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered in 2013–2014.

HIST 017. Social Movements in the Arab World

This course aims to contextualize social and intellectual trends in their colonial, postcolonial and neocolonial background and to link them to the major events and movements that marked the Arab world in the 20th century.
Eligible for INTP, ISLM, or PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Bsheer.

HIST 021. London Beyond Control

This course will explore the topsy-turvy world of London in the long 17th century, focusing on the English Civil War, the Scientific Revolution, and the history of sexuality. We will read the work of historians alongside a multifarious assortment of London texts, using the history of the city as a laboratory for examining the nature of modernity.
Eligible for GSST credit.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Azfar.

HIST 022. The Global Enlightenment: Cosmopolitanism between Theory and Practice

Is cosmopolitanism just a utopic ideal or is it possible, in practice, to live and breathe it? This course will investigate this question by focusing on the age of the Enlightenment, considering topics such as European-Islamic interactions, Barbary pirates, antislavery movements, and canonical works by Enlightenment philosophers. We will approach the complexities of cosmopolitanism by engaging questions of culture, nation, humanity, justice, difference, violence, and progress that lie at the heart of modern thought and culture.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Azfar.

HIST 027. Living with Total War: Europe, 1912–1923

This research seminar examines the experience of Europeans in the trenches, under military occupation, and at home in the turbulent years during and immediately following the First World War.
Optional language attachments: German, French.
Eligible for PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 028. Nations and Nationalism in Eastern Europe, 1848 to 1998

Is ethnic nationhood compatible with democratic practice? This course traces the historical and often violent construction of nationalism and self-proclaimed nation-states out of multi-ethnic communities in Eastern Europe since the late 19th century.
Optional language attachment: German.
Eligible for PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered in 2013–2014.

HIST 029. Sexuality and Society in Europe

Historical constructions of sex, sexual categories, and sex and gender identities in European societies since 1700.
Eligible for GSST or INTP credit.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 031. Revolutionary Iconoclasm: Tearing Down the Old, Building the New

Students undertake a comparative study of efforts by revolutionaries since 1789 to transform their societies and cultures.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 034. Antisemitism Through the Ages

This course explores the religious, social, economic, political, and intellectual roots of history of antisemitism from late antiquity to the present.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 035. The Modern Jewish Experience

This course focuses on the fate of European Jewry from the beginning of emancipation in the late 18th century to the Holocaust.
Eligible for PEAC credit and toward the social science or humanities distribution requirements.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 036. Modern Germany

Politics, society, and culture in the German Nation States (German Empire, Weimar Republic, Third Reich, East and West Germanies) since 1871.
Optional language attachment: German.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 037. History and Memory: Perspectives on the Holocaust

This course uses a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the genocide of the Jews during World War II.
Eligible for PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 038. Russia in the 20th Century

This course explores the Bolshevik seizure of power, the consolidation of communist rule, the rise of Stalin, de-Stalinization, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Weinberg.

HIST 039. Rebuilding Russia after Communism: Russia Under Yeltsin and Putin

This course explores the legacy of communism in Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. We start with an examination of the impact of Stalinism and then turn to the efforts of Mikhail Gorbachev to resuscitate the ailing Soviet Union. The bulk of the course focuses on the impact of the policies of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin on the economy, culture, society, and politics of Russia since 1991. Students will work on group projects designed to illuminate some aspect of post-communist life in Russia.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Weinberg.

HIST 041. The American Colonies

A history of European colonies in North America from 1600 to 1760.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 042. The American Revolution

Revolutionary developments in British North America between 1760 and 1800.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 044. American Popular Culture

The history of entertainment and cultural expression in the United States from early America to the contemporary era.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 045. The United States Since 1945

This course is a survey of social, political, and cultural history of the United States since 1945.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 046. The American Civil War

The social, cultural and political history of the American Civil War.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 048. Murder in a Mill Town: A Window on Social Change During the Early Republic

Topics in the social and cultural history of the United States between the American Revolution and the Civil War.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 049. Race and Foreign Affairs

Race has always played a major part of foreign affairs in the United States just as race relations have dominated in the domestic sphere.
Eligible for LASC, PEAC, or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Murphy.

HIST 050. The Making of the American Working Class

Work, community, race, and gender are examined in the context of class relations in the United States from early America to the present.
Eligible for PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 051. Black Reconstruction

This course recounts the struggle for freedom and national citizenship rights in the post-Civil War era. Black courage and determination secured hard won successes despite “splendid failures.” History, fiction, and film treatments will help students gain insights into “America’s second Revolution.”
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. A. Dorsey.

HIST 052. History of Manhood in America

Meanings of manhood and various constructions of masculine identity in America since the 18th century. A cultural history of gender that explores work, family, sexuality, war, violence, sports, popular culture, and film.
Eligible for GSST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. B. Dorsey.

HIST 053. Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement

This study of black women in the modern civil rights movement (1945–1975) explores black women’s experiences in the struggle for equal rights in mid-20th century.
Eligible for BLST or GSST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 054. Women, Society, and Politics

This course analyzes the history of American women from the colonial period to the present.
Eligible for GSST or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 055. Social Movements in the 20th Century

Students will examine large-scale grassroots movements for social change in the United States since the 1890s.
Eligible for BLST, GSST or PEAC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 056. The Modern American West, 1850 to the Present

The course engages the history of the American West from the 1887 Dawes Act to 1973 Wounded Knee rebellion. Focus is on agricultural and environmental transformation, expansion of federal power and expenditure of federal resources, and the role of corporations in the economy and politics of the west. The course highlights the experience of racial and ethnic diversity in the West.
Prerequisite: An introductory history course.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. A. Dorsey.

HIST 058. Africa in America: Gullah/Geechee Life and Culture

The study of the Gullah/Geechee from their West African origins to contemporary political struggles. Creators of an indigenous “pidgin,” crafters of sweet grass baskets, skilled fishermen and growers of Carolina Gold rice, the Gullah/Geechee have occupied coastal lands from South Carolina to Florida since the 18th century. 21st-century descendants resist displacement as land is claimed for “wildlife sanctuaries.”
This course is not open to first-year students.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. A. Dorsey.

HIST 059. The Black Freedom Struggle: From Civil Rights to Hip-Hop

This course is devoted to the study of the black efforts to achieve political, social, and economic equality within the United States through protest.
This course is not open to first-year students.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 060. The East India Company, 1600–1857

The course explores the history of the East India Company, paying special attention to the 18th century and attending to how the history of the East India Company engages questions of capitalism, empire, race, justice, and modernity.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 061. The Histories of Water

(Cross-listed as FMST 035) This course explores the cultural, social, and political history of water with a focus upon formative events and cultural processes. Throughout, we will examine the different ways in which the history of water can be plotted into the histories of states, cultures, institutional practices, and social ideologies.
Eligible for ENVS credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Azfar & Cho.

HIST 062. History of Reading

This course examines the historical evolution of reading, literature, and books from their origins to the present day, but focuses on the post-Gutenberg era, after 1450.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 063. Voices of the Past: Between Oral History and Memory

An examination of the possibilities and limitations of oral history in the reconstruction of the past. After an in-depth discussion of key works in the field and an initial exposure to specific methodologies, each student will develop his/her oral history research project.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 063S. Swarthmore: Between Oral History and Memory

This research-oriented seminar aims at exploring the fuzzy territory that lies between the multifaceted record of the past and the past as a remembered personal experience. Contextualizing memories of Swarthmore alumni, staff, and faculty; testing their individual recollections with the printed record; emphasizing critical, not celebratory readings of consensus and conflicts throughout modern Swarthmore history, Hist 063S seeks to contribute to students’ original research in the collective exercise of writing the College’s past.

After an in-depth discussion of key works in the field and an initial exposure to specific methodologies, students will develop their oral history research projects.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Armus.

HIST 064. Migrants and Migrations: Europeans and Asians in Latin America and Latinos in the United States

The course will explore the interaction between global forces and local and individual circumstances in the migration experience.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 065. Cities of (Im)migrants: Buenos Aires, Lima, Miami, and New York

Why do people move? Who participates in the migration process? Do people migrate alone or as part of complex networks? How do local political, cultural, and economic conditions as well as broader global capitalist forces shape individual/family decisions to migrate? What forces mold (im)migrants’ adjustments to the new cities? When do (im)migrant groups become communities? How do (im)migrants maintain and feed, if at all, a link to their areas of origin? This course explores the adjustment of European immigrants in Buenos Aires, internal migrants in Lima, and Latinos in Miami and New York and their roles in the making of modern metropolis.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Armus.

HIST 066. Disease, Culture, and Society in the Modern World: Comparative Perspectives

Discussing Latin American, European, African, Asian, and North American cases, this course examines public health strategies in colonial and neocolonial contexts; disease metaphors in media, cinema, and literature; ideas about hygiene, segregation and contagion; outbreaks and the politics of blame; the medicalization of society; and alternative healing cultures.
Eligible for INTP, LASC, or PPOL credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 067. Peripheral Modernities: Latin American Cities in the 20th Century

An exploration of the socio-cultural, economic, and political processes that have shaped the modern experience in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Lima (Peru).
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 068. The Self-image of Modern Latin America

Latin America as it was discussed by Latin American intellectuals and political actors vis a vis agendas for social, national, and regional change. The course aims at offering an exposure to the various Latin American ideological climates that throughout the 19th and 20th centuries debated about ideas of progress, civilization, modernization, reform, revolution, and globalization.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 076. Women’s Work in Premodern China

This seminar explores the practices and meanings associated with “women’s work” in premodern China. Topics will include reproductive work, household work, textile work, and intellectual work. We will seek to understand how women’s work changed over time and how it, in turn, changed the lives of the women who engaged in it.
Eligible for ASIA or GSST credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Chen.

HIST 077. Fashion in East Asia

This course traces the historical development of fashion in China, Japan, and Korea. Using textual, visual, and material sources, we will explore: historical representations of dress; the politics of dress; fashion and the body; women’s labor; consumption and modernity; industry and the world-market.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
Prerequisite: A history course.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Chen.

HIST 078. China, Capitalism, and Their Critics

Before “Red Capitalism,” “Capitalism with Chinese characteristics,” and “Mao Jordan,” critics of China’s wrote about the “Asiatic mode of production,” “Oriental despotism,” and only “sprouts of capitalism.” What these phrases share in common is a longstanding concern about China and its model of economic development. This course examines the creation of discourse centered on the relationship between China, a nation with distinct cultural characteristics, and capitalism, conceived as an economic system specific to European social formation. We begin with Hegel and Marx, follow their legacies through the writings of influential 20th century social theorists like Max Weber and Karl Wittfogel, and outline their impact on the writing of Chinese history. Our aim is to understand how this body of critique has shaped and continues to shape knowledge of China.
Eligible for ASIA credit.
Prerequisite: A history course or permission of the instructor.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Chen.

HIST 080. History of the Body

Bodies make history and bodies are subject to history’s movements. The history of the body, a relatively recent field of inquiry, encompasses the histories of science, gender, sexuality, race, and empire. This course will explore different chapters of that history, with a focus on Europe and the Atlantic World.
Prerequisite: A history or gender and sexuality course at Swarthmore.
Eligible for GSST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Azfar.

HIST 081. The History of Food in the Modern Era

This mid-level course explores the transformation of the American diet from the end of the Civil War to the present day. Students will be invited to research topics including the life and training of chefs, the evolution of cooking methods and styles, and the tensions between science and pleasure in the effort to satisfy the American palate.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. A. Dorsey.

HIST 082. Networks, Simulations, Information: Cultural Histories of Digital Media

Digital culture, whether we mean everyday habits and practices involving computers and the Internet or the production and consumption of media in digital environments, is still often described as "the next new thing", as having come by its current dominant status suddenly and by surprise. In this course, students will first ask whether some of the characteristic
structures and forms associated with digital culture, such as networks, simulations or ways of organizing and working with information, are in fact much older. Is there a "prehistory" of the digital worth considering? The class will then examine the earliest cultural forms and practices associated with digital technology in the 1970s and 1980s, including video
game consoles, bulletin boards (BBSs), homebrew computing, and the rise of hacking, and from there track the rise of new genres and forms of practice up to 2014 We will try to relate some of the foundations of digital culture to the present and ask how or whether both deep and recent history continue to shape current practices. Students will engage in original research on topics of their choice and produce exhibits, blogs or other digital works about their research.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Burke.

HIST 083. What Ifs and Might-Have-Beens: Counterfactual Histories

The course will focus on debates about and within the writing of counterfactual histories.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 084. Modern Addiction: Cigarette Smoking in the 20th Century

Examines the worldwide transformation of the habit of smoking into a medicalized and regulated practice. Emphasis on research projects based on primary sources.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 089. The Environmental History of Africa

This course examines African history from an ecological and environmental perspective. This course examines the conceptual debate between materialist “big history” and more specific social and cultural analyses of environmental practice as well as more specific precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial histories of land use and human ecology. The last portion of the course will include group projects built around topics chosen by students.
Eligible for BLST or ENVS credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Burke.

HIST 090B. Irish History

Settlement from Ancient Ireland to the Celts, the rise of the McNeill Kingship, the arrival of St. Patrick, the Norman invasion, and the Flight of the Earls. We examine the darkest hours of Irish History: Cromwell, the Potato Famine, the Easter Uprising, Irish Independence, up to Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Murphy.

HIST 090C. Bad Research and Information Heresies

(Cross-listed as ENGL 081)
This cross-disciplinary class takes apart the distinctions between academic, professional, and everyday research.
Open to juniors and seniors from any major.
Eligible for INTP credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 090D. Abraham Lincoln’s America

The life and times of the United States from 1809–1865, focusing on slavery, emancipation, sectional conflict, and Civil War.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 090E. On the Other Side of the Tracks: Black Urban Community

The study of the black community in the United States, from the end of the American Revolution to the end of the 20th century.
Eligible for BLST credit.
1 credit.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 090F. Gulf Petro-modernity: History, Politics, Society

This seminar focuses on how the discovery and exploitation of petroleum at the turn of the 20th century has shaped the formation and consolidation of Gulf Arab states, permanently changing their geo-political, social and cultural landscapes.
Prerequisites: first year students must have permission of the instructor. All students who have not taken a Group B course must have permission of the instructor.
Eligible for ISLM credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2014. Bsheer.

HIST 090G. Black Liberation 1969: Black Studies in History Theory and Praxis

(Cross-listed as BLST 090G) A research seminar on the civil rights movement and student activism will investigate the history of the black student movement on college campuses in America circa 1968-1972 with an emphasis on unearthing the story of Swarthmore’s own black student protest in 1969. Students will study social movement theory and campus activism at Columbia, Harvard, Orangeburg and the University of North Carolina. Based on research and interviews with alumni who participated in 1969 take over on Swarthmore’s campus, students will write the first accurate history of the black protest as well as develop a creative project designed to educate the campus and broader community about these events.
1.5 credits.
Fall 2014. A. Dorsey.

HIST 091. Senior Research Seminar

Students write a 25-page paper based on primary sources.
Required of all majors, including honors majors.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2013. Azfar and B. Dorsey.

HIST 092. Thesis

A single-credit thesis, available to all majors in their senior year after completion of HIST 091, on a topic approved by the Department. The thesis should be 10,000 to 15,000 words in length (50–75 pages), and a brief oral examination will be conducted upon completion of the thesis. Students may not register for HIST 092 credit/no credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2013 and spring 2014. Staff.

HIST 093. Directed Reading

Individual or group study in fields of special interest to the student not dealt with in the regular course offerings requires the consent of the department chair and of the instructor.
HIST 093 may be taken for 0.5 credit as HIST 093A.
Seminars

HIST 111. Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean

Beginning with common Roman traditions, the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages became divided into three great civilizations: Byzantium, Islam, and Western Christendom. The course will examine the interchange and friction among these three cultures as the sea passed from Islamic to Christian control from the seventh to the 14th century.
Eligible for MDST credit.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. Bensch.

HIST 116. European Intellectual History: Pathways to the Enlightenment

This honors seminar will explore European intellectual history from the Renaissance to the post-moderns, with the Enlightenment as the central historical problem. Where did the Enlightenment come from, and what did it result in? We will examine scholarship that has engaged this question in different ways, exploring intersections between the history of European ideas and cultural history, the history of revolutions, the history of sexuality, and the history of Empire.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 122. Revolutionary Europe, 1750 to 1871

Selected topics in the social, economic, and political history of Europe from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune will be considered.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 125. Fascist Europe

This seminar studies European fascism in the context of societies torn by world war, class conflict, social violence, and economic depression. It focuses on fascist movements, regimes, and cultural politics in Italy and Germany, France, and Romania.
2 credits.
Fall 2013. Judson.

HIST 128. Russia in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This course focuses on the social, economic, political, and intellectual forces leading to the collapse of the autocracy and the rise of Stalin. Particular attention is devoted to the dilemmas of change and reform, and the problematic relationship between state and society.
Writing course.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 130. Early America in the Atlantic World

The “new world” of European and Indian encounter in the Americas, along with the African slave trade, British North American colonies, and the American Revolution.
2 credits.
Spring 2014. B. Dorsey.

HIST 131. Gender and Sexuality in America

A social and cultural history of gender and sexuality in the United States from the early republic to the present.
Eligible for GSST credit.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 135. Labor and Urban History

A seminar that focuses on history from the bottom up, on working-class people as they build America and struggle to obtain political, social, and economic justice. Topics include urbanization and suburbanization, republicanism and democracy, racism and the wages of Whiteness, gender and work, class and community, popular culture, the politics of consumption, industrialism and the managerial revolution, and jobs and gender.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 137. Slavery, 1550 to 1865

This seminar focuses on slavery in the United States between 1550 and the end of the Civil War, emphasizing the link between black enslavement and the development of democracy, law, and economics. Topics addressed include the Atlantic slave trade, the development of the Southern colonies, black cultural traditions, and slave community.
Eligible for BLST credit.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 140. The Colonial Encounter in Africa

Students focus on the social, economic, and cultural dimensions of the colonial era in modern Africa.
Eligible for BLST or PEAC credit.
2 credits.
Fall 2013. Burke.

HIST 148. Issues and Debates in Modern Latin America

Explores major problems and challenges Latin American nations have been confronting since the last third of the 19th century onward. Topics include the neocolonial condition of the region, nation and state building processes, urbanization, industrialization, popular and elite cultures, modernities in the periphery, and race, class, and gender conflicts.
Eligible for LASC credit.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 149. Reform and Revolutions in Modern Latin America

A study of the historical problem of change—political, economic, and cultural—in peripheral Latin America. It emphasizes nation-building capitalist ideas, populist experiences that produced deep reformist transformations, and revolutionary processes that started very radical and over time became moderate.
Eligible for LASC credit.
2 credits.
Not offered 2013–2014.

HIST 180. Honors Thesis

2 credits.
Fall 2013 and spring 2014. Staff.