Courses

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's calendars page.

Spring 2024 HIST

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
HIST B129-001 The Religious Conquest of the Americas Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Goodhart Hall B
Gallup-Diaz,I.
HIST B200-001 The Atlantic World 1492-1800 Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:25 AM-12:45 PM TTH Old Library 104
Gallup-Diaz,I.
HIST B226-001 Topics in 20th Century European History: History of Fascism: Then & Now Semester / 1 LEC: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Old Library 224
Kurimay,A.
HIST B237-001 Themes in Modern African History: Public History in Africa Semester / 1 LEC: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Old Library 111
Ngalamulume,K.
HIST B250-001 Media and Medicine in Modern America: Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Dalton Hall 119
O'Donnell,K.
HIST B263-001 Impact of Empire: Britain 1858-1960 Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM MW Taylor Hall D
Kale,M.
HIST B264-001 Passages from India: 1800-Present Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:25 PM-3:45 PM TTH Dalton Hall 212E
Kale,M.
HIST B279-001 Power, Freedom, and the Ties that Bound in medieval Europe Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM-2:15 PM TTH Carpenter Library 13
Sargent,A.
HIST B299-001 Exploring History Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-12:00 PM F Old Library 116
Kurimay,A.
HIST B337-001 Topics in African History: Hist of Global Health Africa Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM T Old Library 116
Ngalamulume,K.
HIST B341-001 Go Burbs: Local Histories of Modern America Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM T Taylor Hall B
O'Donnell,K.
HIST B403-001 Supervised Work 1 Dept. staff, TBA
CITY B250-001 Topics: Growth & Spatial Org of Cities: Urban Morphology Semester / 1 LEC: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Dalton Hall 10
Cohen,J.
CSTS B108-001 Roman Africa Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:25 PM-3:45 PM TTH Old Library 104
Conybeare,C.
EALC B131-001 Chinese Civilization Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM-1:00 PM MWF Old Library 104
Jiang,Y.
EALC B200-001 Major Seminar: Methods and Approaches Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Old Library 111
Jiang,Y.
HART B310-001 Topics in Medieval Art: Africa & Byzantium Semester / 1 LEC: 2:10 PM-4:00 PM M Carpenter Library 13
Walker,A.
MEST B210-001 The Art and Architecture of Islamic Spirituality Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM MW Carpenter Library 25
Salikuddin,R.
MEST B305-001 Merchants, Pilgrims & Rogues: Travels through the Mid East Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM-2:00 PM W Carpenter Library 13
Salikuddin,R.

Fall 2024 HIST

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

Spring 2025 HIST

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2023-24 Catalog Data: HIST

HIST B101 The Historical Imagination

Not offered 2023-24

Explores some of the ways people have thought about, represented, and used the past across time and space. Introduces students to modern historical practices and debates through examination and discussion of texts and archives that range from scholarly monographs and documents to monuments, oral traditions, and other media.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B102 Introduction to African Civilizations

Fall 2023

The course is designed to introduce students to the history of African and African Diaspora societies, cultures, and political economies. We will discuss the origins, state formation, external contacts, and the structural transformations and continuities of African societies and cultures in the context of the slave trade, colonial rule, capitalist exploitation, urbanization, and westernization, as well as contemporary struggles over authority, autonomy, identity and access to resources. Case studies will be drawn from across the continent.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B129 The Religious Conquest of the Americas

Spring 2024

The course examines the complex aspects of the European missionization of indigenous people, and explores how two traditions of religious thought/practice came into conflict. Rather than a transposition of Christianity from Europe to the Americas, something new was created in the contested colonial space.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Latin American,Iberian,Latinx

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HIST B156 The Long 1960's

Not offered 2023-24

The 1960s has had a powerful effect on recent US History. But what was it exactly? How long did it last? And what do we really mean when we say "The Sixties?" This term has become so potent and loaded for so many people from all sides of the political spectrum that it's almost impossible to separate fact from fiction; myth from memory. We are all the inheritors of this intense period in American history but our inheritance is neither simple nor entirely clear. Our task this semester is to try to pull apart the meaning as well as the legend and attempt to figure out what "The Sixties" is (and what it isn't) and try to assess its long term impact on American society.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

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HIST B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800

Spring 2024

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods, and ideas from Africa, Europe. and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean, or Latin American history.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Latin American,Iberian,Latinx

Counts Toward Peace, Justice and Human Right

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HIST B203 The High Middle Ages

Fall 2023

We're becoming used to the idea of environmental crisis. Drought, floods, storms, and extinctions constantly remind us that humans can be terrifyingly effective at shaping the world in which we live. But the interplay between human agents and the rest of the world is as old as humanity. This course explores how people in the European Middle Ages - mostly the peasants left out of the history books - lived with and made decisions about limited natural resources, looming overexploitation, customary common rights, and shared responsibilities, all within the narrow margins which characterized their immediate and taxing relationship with their landscapes. The period is alien in many ways: it was an age of faith, oaths, and lordship. Horsepower was measured in literal horses (or in human muscle). But the decisions its people made, and the assumptions they held, have shaped our own world in ways we don't always see. How did people in another age work within the constraints set by their environments? How did they change those environments to suit their desires? And whose desires were being pursued? Who was left out? Through attention to cultivation, climates, plague, and human conceptions of the natural world, we'll consider these questions, and seek to gain glimpses of the human-to-human and human-to-non-human relationships that dominated the medieval experience.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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HIST B212 Pirates, Travelers, and Natural Historians: 1492-1750

Fall 2023

In the early modern period, conquistadors, missionaries, travelers, pirates, and natural historians wrote interesting texts in which they tried to integrate the New World into their existing frameworks of knowledge. This intellectual endeavor was an adjunct to the physical conquest of American space, and provides a framework though which we will explore the processes of imperial competition, state formation, and indigenous and African resistance to colonialism.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Environmental Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Latin American,Iberian,Latinx

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HIST B226 Topics in 20th Century European History

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Human Rights:Theory & Practice
Section 001 (Spring 2023): History of the Holocaust
Section 002 (Spring 2023): Playing Ball: A Global History of Sport
Section 001 (Fall 2023): Gender- Modern European State
Section 001 (Spring 2024): History of Fascism: Then & Now

Fall 2023, Spring 2024

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Current topic description: This course investigates the shifting politics and lived experience of gender in Europe from the late nineteenth century to the present. How did wars and revolutions change women's place in European society? How did those approaches affect the lives of men and women in those societies? And what were the forces that made gender equality a funamental goal of the European Union? As part of answering these questions, the course investigates how different political systems constructed gender norms and regulated the lives of men and women. We will look at European empires, liberal and social democracies, communist and fascist states, political systems on both sides of the Iron Curtain and the European Union.

Current topic description: What are the historical roots of fascists ideologies and organizations and what can a historical perspective tell us about the reasons for their continuous attraction? The course will examine the histories of fascist movements in Europe from World War I to the present. It will focus on the historical origins and evolution of key theories, organizations and receptivity of fascist movements in both Western and Eastern Europe. Throughout the course we will also interrogate the relationship between fascist movements and gender, sexuality, and youth in both the pre-and post-World War II era. How did these movements (from Italian fascism and Nazism to contemporary european far right movements) conceptualize their preferred gender and sexual order? What role did women play in these movements? And what made and continues to make these movements appeal to young people?

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B234 An Introduction to Middle Eastern History

Not offered 2023-24

This course serves as an introduction to the history of the modern Middle East. We will also explore the narratives and debates that have shaped the field of Middle East history. Topics include orientalism, colonialism, political reform, social, cultural, and intellectual movements, nationalism, and the Cold War. Readings will be drawn from the fields of history, anthropology, politics, and literature.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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HIST B236 African History since 1800

Section 001 (Fall 2023): Africa since 1800

Fall 2023

The course analyzes the history of Africa in the last two hundred years in the context of global political economy. We will examine the major themes in modern African history, including the 19th-century state formation, expansion, or restructuration; partition and resistance; colonial rule; economic, social, political, religious, and cultural developments; nationalism; post-independence politics, economics, and society, as well as conflicts and the burden of disease. The course will also introduce students to the sources and methods of African history.

Current topic description: The course deals with the continuities and transformations of African societies and cultures in the context of European colonial rule, capitalist exploitation, urbanization, and westernization. Special attention will be paid to the options available to the Africans and the choices they made in colonial situations and after independence. The course will also introduce students to the sources and methods in history as well as to various historical interpretations of African history.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B237 Themes in Modern African History

Section 001 (Spring 2023): Public History in Africa
Section 001 (Spring 2024): Public History in Africa

Spring 2024

This is a topics course. Course content varies

Current topic description: This course will explore the colonial and postcolonial practices in public history. It will address the following question: in an age of "fake news" and "history wars", how can we understand the relationship between the public and the place of the past? Topics will include exhibitions; museum practices and colonial outlooks; commemorations and identities; monuments; film, popular history and memory; heritage and regeneration; oral history and public engagement; and public policy. We will also discuss ongoing inter-sectional and interdisciplinary decolonizing approaches to breaking received hierarchies and narratives. The course will also introduce students to the methodological and theoretical issues in the practice of public history.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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HIST B238 From Bordellos to Cybersex History of Sexuality in Modern Europe

Not offered 2023-24

This course is a detailed examination of the changing nature and definition of sexuality in Europe from the late nineteenth century to the present. Throughout the semester we critically examine how understandings of sexuality changed-from how it was discussed and how authorities tried to control it to how the practice of sexuality evolved. Focusing on both discourses and lived experiences, the class will explore sexuality in the context of the following themes; prostitution and sex trafficking, the rise of medicine with a particular attention to sexology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis; the birth of the homo/hetero/bisexual divide; the rise of the "New Woman"; abortion and contraception; the "sexual revolution" of the 60s; pornography and consumerism; LGBTQ activism; concluding with considering sexuality in the age of cyber as well as genetic technology. In examining these issues we will question the role and influence of different political systems and war on sexuality. By paying special attention to the rise of modern nation-states, forces of nationalism, and the impacts of imperialism we will interrogate the nature of regulation and experiences of sexuality in different locations in Europe from the late nineteenth century to the present.

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HIST B241 America 1890-1945

Not offered 2023-24

This course focuses on the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. An intense period of violent struggle over race, immigration, labor, income inequality, gender, and the very survival of American democracy in the face of global fascism, the early years of the twentieth century set the stage for the American society of today. One cannot fully understand what has happened to the U.S. right now without spending time in the first 40 years of the twentieth century.

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HIST B242 American Politics and Society: 1945 to the Present

Not offered 2023-24

How did we get here? This course looks at the stunning transformation of America after WWII. From a country devastated by economic crisis and wedded to isolationism prior to the war, America turned itself into an international powerhouse. Massive grass roots resistance forced the United States to abandon its system of racial apartheid, to open opportunities to women, and to reinvent its very definition as it incorporated immigrants from around the world. Simultaneously, American music and film broke free from their staid moorings and permanently altered international culture. Finally, through the "War on Terror", starting after 9/11, America initiated an aggressive new foreign policy that has shattered traditional rules of warfare and reoriented global politics. We will explore the political, social, and cultural factors that have driven modern American history. Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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HIST B243 Topics: Atlantic Cultures

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

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HIST B250 Media and Medicine in Modern America:

Spring 2024

Have you ever turned to TikTok for health advice? Are you a fan of medical dramas like Grey's Anatomy? This course explores of the co-development and evolution of modern medicine and the media in the United States, from the late nineteenth century through the present day. Students will delve into a wide range of media formats, including advertising, newspapers, radio, film, television, and the Internet, to analyze the media's long-standing influence on perceptions and practices of medicine. Special attention will be paid to the shifting cultural authority of medicine, as well as the stakes of communicating health information and implications for public health.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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HIST B253 Themes in Modern Europe: Europe in the Global Age

Not offered 2023-24

This course is a survey of Europe from the seventeenth century to the present. Throughout the semester we will look at the people, events, and major themes that shaped the history of modern Europe. We will cover a large number of topics, from social movements and political ideologies, to national identities and gender norms. We will examine what we mean when we speak of "Europe" and we will place Europe within the context of the wider, global world. Through the use of primary sources, students will also learn the skills and techniques necessary in the work of a historian. We will examine how historians write, interpret, and construct histories from a series of facts, and what place these histories have in our contemporary world.

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HIST B256 Disciplining Bodies in Motion: Migration & Colonial Modernity

Not offered 2023-24

Migration and borderlands dominate headlines as well as the everyday experiences of millions of people around the world, as vast numbers of human bodies move through spaces interrupted by variously-contested and regulated natural barriers (rivers, seas, mountains, deserts, etc.) and barricades (social, cultural and psychic as well as physical) constructed by not only States, but by a wide range of "non-State actors" as well. Notably, since 1984, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the majority of migrants to this country have been women, a trend that is also evident elsewhere (within as well as across national borders). While migration arguably is a characteristic feature of humanity across time and space, this course will situate our current transnational conjuncture in the long duree of global migration engendered by developments at the turn of the 16th century, focusing on the migration of "labor" from the Indian subcontinent to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Persian Gulf, Africa, the Caribbean, the Americas, Britain, and Europe. Focusing on indentured and contract labor migration from British India, we will consider if and how the historically-contingent and sometime politically opportunistic and transactional tactics, regulations, protocols around these "labor" migrations contributed simultaneously to naturalizing and also obscuring gendered assumptions about work and (whether performed within, between or outside their spaces, still predicated on) households, (geographical) mobility, and the bodies (profoundly gendered, "raced," and hierarchized) that engage in all three. To what degree have techniques of governance (measuring, surveilling) practiced and routinized through the various colonial empires of the 19th and 20th centuries informed the production and circulation of knowledge (specifically academic disciplines like History) the naturalization of analytical and descriptive categories like labor, race and class -- and vice versa? .

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HIST B257 British Empire I: Capitalism and Slavery

Not offered 2023-24

Focusing on the Atlantic slave trade and the slave plantation mode of production, this course explores English colonization, and the emergence and the decline of British Empire in the Americas and Caribbean from the 17th through the late 20th centuries. It tracks some of the intersecting and overlapping routes-and roots-connecting histories and politics within and between these "new" world locations. It also tracks the further and proliferating links between developments in these regions and the histories and politics of regions in the "old" world, from the north Atlantic to the South China sea.

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HIST B258 British Empire: Imagining Indias

Fall 2023

This course considers ideas about and experiences of "modern" India, i.e., India during the colonial and post-Independence periods (roughly 1757-present). While "India" and "Indian history" along with "British empire" and "British history" will be the ostensible objects of our consideration and discussions, the course proposes that their imagination and meanings are continually mediated by a wide variety of institutions, agents, and analytical categories (nation, religion, class, race, gender, to name a few examples). The course uses primary sources, scholarly analyses, and cultural productions to explore the political economies of knowledge, representation, and power in the production of modernity.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B263 Impact of Empire: Britain 1858-1960

Spring 2024

Is empire (on the British variant of which, in its heyday, the sun reportedly never set) securely superseded (as some have confidently asserted) or does it endure and, if so, in what forms and domains? Focusing on the expanding British colonial empire from the 17th century on, this course considers its impact through the dynamics of specific commodities' production, and consumption (sugar and tea, for example, but also labor and governance), their cultures (from plantations and factories to households to the state), and their disciplinary technologies (including domesticity, the nation, and discourses on history and modernity).

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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HIST B264 Passages from India: 1800-Present

Spring 2024

This course explores the histories and effects of migration from the Indian subcontinent to far-flung destinations across the globe. It starts with the circular migrations of traders, merchants, and pilgrims in the medieval period from the Indian subcontinent to points east (in southeast Asia) and west (eastern Africa). However, the focus of the course is on modern migrations from the subcontinent, from the indentured labor migrations of the British colonial period (to Africa, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific) to the post-Independence emigrations from the new nations of the subcontinent to Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B265 Colonial Encounters in the Americas

Fall 2023

The course explores the confrontations, conquests and accommodations that formed the "ground-level" experience of day-to-day colonialism throughout the Americas. The course is comparative in scope, examining events and structures in North, South and Central America, with particular attention paid to indigenous peoples and the nature of indigenous leadership in the colonial world of the 18th century.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Latin American,Iberian,Latinx

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HIST B268 Telling Bryn Mawr Histories: Topics, Sources, and Methods

Not offered 2023-24

The course covers historical research practices and methods, and will familiarize participants with the College's curatorial and archival collections, so that each student might frame an individual research project.

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HIST B274 topics in Modern US History

Section 001 (Fall 2023): History of Reproductive Health

Fall 2023

This is a topics course in 20th century America social history. Topics vary by half semester

Current topic description: An exploration of reproductive health in American history from the colonial era through the present day, with an emphasis on the long 20th century. Topics covered include gender, medicalization, and medical authority; battles over abortion rights and reproductive justice; evolving practices regarding pregnancy and childbirth; the role of technology in reproduction; and entanglements of reproductive health with social and political categories of race, gender, disability, and national identity.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

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HIST B279 Power, Freedom, and the Ties that Bound in medieval Europe

Spring 2024

People in the Middle Ages cared about power, freedom, and the relationships that bound men and women to each other. But their concepts of each, and the way they evaluated the goodness and the purposes of their exercise, were very different from our own. So, what did freedom mean in the Middle Ages? What made power good or bad? How did people try to create reliable structures so that they would use what freedom or power they had for good? And how did they twist those structures to serve selfish aims? In this course we will explore these questions through deep dives into four case studies: the relationship between lords and vassals (often described as "feudalism"); servitude and freedom in the rural world among the bulk of the population, who were peasant farmers; the ties of power, obligation, and affection that structured marriage and family life; and the (ideally) voluntary relinquishment of freedom by monks and nuns in ordered religious life. At the end of the course, each student will create a final project investigating similar questions in a relationship or situation of their choosing. Possible topics include teachers and students, masters and apprentices, craft guilds, trade partnerships, and law courts with their required participation (as well as pomp and circumstance).

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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HIST B280 History of Witchcraft and Magic

Not offered 2023-24

This course examines the social, cultural, and legal history of witchcraft and magic throughout European history. We will examine the values and attitudes that have influenced beliefs about witchcraft and the supernatural, both historically and in the present day. This course will pay specific attention to the role of gender and sexuality in the history of witchcraft, as the vast majority of individuals charged in the witch hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were indeed women. We will also study accusations of witchcraft, breaking down the power dynamics and assumptions at play behind the witch trials, and the effects of these trials on gender relations in European society. This class will track the intersections of magic and science throughout the early modern period, and the reconciliation of belief systems during the Enlightenment. We will carry our analysis into the modern period, touching on Victorian spiritualism and mysticism, the emergence of Neo-Paganism, and the return to the figure of the goddess. Our final foray will be and examination of the political "witch-hunts" of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the enduring trope of the "witch" in modern political culture.

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HIST B284 Movies and America: The Past Lives Forever

Not offered 2023-24

Movies are one of the most important means by which Americans come to know - or think they know-their own history. We look to old movies to tell us about a world we never knew but think we can access through film. And Hollywood often reaches into the past to tell a good story. How can we understand the impact of our love affair with movies on our understanding of what happened in this country? In this course we will examine the complex cultural relationship between film and American historical self-fashioning.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward Visual Studies

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HIST B292 Women in Britain since 1750

Fall 2023

Focusing on contemporary and historical narratives, this course explores the ongoing production, circulation and refraction of discourses on gender and nation as well as race, empire and modernity since the mid-18th century. Texts will incorporate visual material as well as literary evidence and culture and consider the crystallization of the discipline of history itself.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B299 Exploring History

Spring 2024

This course is designed to introduce history majors to the debates governing the production of historical knowledge which dominate the discipline. Although undergraduates often read history monographs as finished and "complete" projects, in fact each of these works is always deeply contested - both in terms of method and product. The goal of this course is to not only reinforce habits of critical textual reading but to provide students the tools to critically "read" the entire project of writing history. Required for History Majors.

Writing Intensive

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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HIST B303 Topics in American History

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Recent topics have included medicine, advertising, and history of sexuality. Course may be repeated for credit.

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HIST B307 Topics in European and Britain Cultural History

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

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HIST B319 Topics in Modern European History

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Growing Up in Communism

Fall 2023

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Current topic description: From Red Lights to Urban Gardens, History and Culture of Central European Cities. From the quaint bustling cafes of Vienna to the boulevards and bathhouses of Budapest this seminar will explore the social, cultural, and structural history of Central European cities from the late nineteenth century to the present. In cultural capitals like Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and Berlin we will examine how architecture, class formation, popular and high art, leisure, youth culture, (im)migration, gender, and sexuality created and built the urban (and suburban) landscape of Modern Europe.

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B325 Topics in Social History

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Radical Movements
Section 001 (Fall 2023): American Health Politics

Fall 2023

This a topics course that explores various themes in American social history. Course content varies. Course may be repeated. Current topic description Health care in America has always been political. From historical debates to modern controversies, this course explores the social and cultural dimensions of American medicine and public health, with particular attention to their politics. Incorporating analysis of primary historical sources, we will examine issues such as health activism, health insurance reform, medical civil rights battles, reproductive justice, the doctor-patient relationship, and the rise of modern bioethics.

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

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HIST B327 Topics in Early American History

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

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HIST B337 Topics in African History

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Cities, Epidemics, Pandemics
Section 001 (Spring 2023): Healing Traditions/W. Africa
Section 001 (Fall 2023): Cities, Epidemics, Pandemics
Section 001 (Spring 2024): Hist of Global Health Africa

Fall 2023, Spring 2024

This is a topics course. Topics vary.

Current topic description:In the recent decades, the world has experienced an increasing threat for public health from the emerging infectious diseases that have provoked epidemics and pandemics. The course will focus on the impact of epidemics and pandemics on cities in Africa. We will discuss the issues of public health history, social and cultural history of disease as well as the issues of the history of medicine. We will examine the histories of global initiatives to control disease in Africa from an interdisciplinary perspective (history, and social and biomedical sciences), using case studies from across the continent. We will explore various themes, such as the anxiety and panic caused by the disease outbreaks; the state, medical, and popular responses; the politics of disease control; the conflicts of interests between the interests of commerce, public health, and civil liberties; and the health disparities within cities. We will focus on the colonial and postcolonial cities in Africa. We will also explore the questions regarding the sources of African history and their quality.

Current topic description: The course will focus on the issues of public health history, social and cultural history of disease as well as the issues of the history of medicine. We will examine the histories of global initiatives to control disease in Africa from an interdisciplinary perspective (history, and social and biomedical sciences), using case studies from across the continent. These initiatives involve the relationship between states, NGOs, universities, pharmaceutical companies, food industry, and other nonstate actors. We will explore various themes, such as the indigenous theories of disease and therapies; disease, imperialism and medicine; medical pluralism in contemporary Africa; the emerging diseases, medical education, women in medicine, and differential access to health care. We will also explore the questions regarding the sources of African history and their quality.

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward Health Studies

Counts Toward International Studies

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HIST B341 Go Burbs: Local Histories of Modern America

Spring 2024

If "all politics is local," then so too is all history. This course takes a local approach to the history of the United States, focusing on the nearby Philadelphia suburbs as a microcosm of modern American society and culture. Paying particular attention to Delaware County, students will investigate local history and local cultural sites and integrate them into a broader historical context.

Writing Attentive

Course does not meet an Approach

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

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HIST B349 Topics in Comparative History

Section 001 (Spring 2023): Indigenous Peoples/Frontiers

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Topics vary.

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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HIST B371 Topics in Atlantic History: The Early Modern Pirate in Fact and Fiction

Not offered 2023-24

This course will explore piracy in the Americas in the period 1550-1750. We will investigate the historical reality of pirates and what they did, and the manner in which pirates have entered the popular imagination through fiction and films. Pirates have been depicted as lovable rogues, anti-establishment rebels, and enlightened multiculturalists who were skilled in dealing with the indigenous and African peoples of the Americas. The course will examine the facts and the fictions surrounding these important historical actors.

Writing Intensive

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward Latin American,Iberian,Latinx

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HIST B398 Approaches to Historical Praxis

This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to consider different ways of "doing history." In conversation with the professor and using the resources of the College (archivists, librarians, digital specialists, Praxis Program) students will articulate a historical question, research it, and produce a final project. This project may be a final research paper, but might also take the more public form of a digital project, an exhibit, a short film, or an internship in a local museum, oral history center, or archive.

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HIST B403 Supervised Work

Optional independent study, which requires permission of the instructor and the major adviser.

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ANTH B327 Caste and Race: Analogies and Intersections

Not offered 2023-24

With the global spread of the Black Lives Matter movement, and since the publication of American journalist Isabel Wilkerson's Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, there has been a renewed interest in thinking comparatively about caste and race. This course will examine the intertwined histories and legacies of caste and race as imaginaries deployed both to create and enforce social inequality and hierarchy, and to describe and analyze it. In the first half of the course we will examine how analogies and comparisons between caste and race have been made at various moments over the long 20th century. In the second half of the course, we will explore how caste and race have intersected in lived experience, using historical sources, ethnography, and memoir. In tracking intersections of experience and the production of knowledge, our course will bring together history, anthropology, sociology, and related fields, as well as different world areas- India/South Asia and the U.S./Western hemisphere- that have traditionally been held apart in the modern academy. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology or History or related Social Science or Humanities departments, or permission of the instructors.

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward International Studies

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ARCH B244 Great Empires of the Ancient Near East

Not offered 2023-24

A survey of the history, material culture, political and religious ideologies of, and interactions among, the five great empires of the ancient Near East of the second and first millennia B.C.E.: New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia, the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires in Mesopotamia, and the Persian Empire in Iran.

Writing Attentive

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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CITY B250 Topics: Growth & Spatial Org of Cities

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Patterns, change, and agency
Section 001 (Spring 2024): Urban Morphology

Spring 2024

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Current topic description: Patterns, change, and agency: This course explores morphological patterns and types within the evolving city, focusing upon forms associated with functions and populations, their disposition in urban space, and the forces that shaped them.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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CITY B345 Advanced Topics in Environment and Society

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Topics vary.

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CSTS B108 Roman Africa

Spring 2024

In 146 BCE, Rome conquered and destroyed the North African city of Carthage, which had been its arch-enemy for generations, and occupied many of the Carthaginian settlements in North Africa. But by the second and third centuries CE, North Africa was one of the most prosperous and cultured areas of the Roman Empire, and Carthage (near modern Tunis) was one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean. This course will trace the relations between Rome and Carthage, looking at the history of their mutual enmity, the extraordinary rise to prosperity of Roman North Africa, and the continued importance of the region even after the Vandal invasions of the fifth century.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

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CSTS B205 Greek History

Not offered 2023-24

This course traces the rise of the city-state (polis) in the Greek-speaking world beginning in the seventh-century BC down to its full blossoming in classical Athens and Sparta. Students should gain an understanding of the formation and development of Greek identity, from the Panhellenic trends in archaic epic and religion through its crystallization during the heroic defense against two Persian invasions and its subsequent disintegration during the Peloponnesian war. The class will also explore the ways in which the evolution of political, philosophical, religious, and artistic institutions reflect the changing socio-political circumstances of Greece. The latter part of the course will focus on Athens in particular: its rise to imperial power under Pericles, its tragic decline from the Peloponnesian War and its important role as a center for the teaching of rhetoric and philosophy. Since the study of history involves the analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of the sources available for the culture studied, students will concentrate upon the primary sources available for Greek history, exploring the strengths and weakness of these sources and the ways in which their evidence can be used to create an understanding of ancient Greece. Students should learn how to analyze and evaluate the evidence from primary texts and to synthesize the information from multiple sources in a critical way.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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EALC B131 Chinese Civilization

Spring 2024

A broad chronological survey of Chinese culture and society from the Bronze Age to the 1800s, with special reference to such topics as belief, family, language, the arts and sociopolitical organization. Readings include primary sources in English translation and secondary studies.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward East Asian Languages & Culture

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EALC B200 Major Seminar: Methods and Approaches

Spring 2024

This course is a writing intensive course for EALC majors and minors to introduce some foundational ideas and concepts in the study of East Asia. Beginning with close readings of primary source texts, students are introduced to the philosophy and culture of China, and its subsequent transmission and adaptation across the vast geographical area that is commonly referred to as "East Asia." Students will gain familiarity with methods in this interdisciplinary field and develop skills in the practice of close critical analysis, bibliography, and the formulation of a research topic. Required of EALC majors and minors. Majors should take this course before the senior year. Prerequisite: One year of Chinese or Japanese.

Writing Intensive

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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EALC B263 The Chinese Revolution

Not offered 2023-24

Places the causes and consequences of the 20th century revolutions in historical perspective, by examining its late-imperial antecedents and tracing how the revolution has (and has not) transformed China, including the lives of such key revolutionary supporters as the peasantry, women, and intellectuals.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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EALC B264 Human Rights in China

Not offered 2023-24

This course will examine China's human rights issues from a historical perspective. The topics include diverse perspectives on human rights, historical background, civil rights, religious practice, justice system, education, as well as the problems concerning some social groups such as migrant laborers, women, ethnic minorities and peasants.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

Counts Toward International Studies

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EALC B325 Topics in Chinese History and Culture

Section 001 (Fall 2022): Legal Culture in Chinese History
Section 001 (Fall 2023): Law and Society/Imperial China

Fall 2023

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

Current topic description: This seminar explores the connection and interaction between law and society in Chinese history with an emphasis on the imperial age. We will discuss the philosophical foundation of legal culture; evolution of legal institutions and their practice. The focus of the course, however, is on the role of law in spacing empires, stabilizing governments, structuring societies, and regulating families. We will explore topics such as how law and its practice shaped social class, defined gender, and demarcated ethnicity groups. We will read translated primary sources, including historical accounts and original law code texts, legal cases, and case stories, as well as secondary works of scholarship. By reading, preparing summaries, and discussing materials of various genres, students will understand Chinese legal culture and history in particular and humanities in general.

Counts Toward International Studies

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ENGL B359 Dead Presidents

Not offered 2023-24

Framed by the extravagant funerals of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, this course explores the cultural importance of the figure of the President and the Presidential body, and of the 19th-century preoccupations with death and mourning, in the U.S. cultural imaginary from the Revolutionary movement through the Civil War.

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GERM B223 Topics in German Cultural Studies

Section 001 (Spring 2023): Under Surveillance: From ETA Hoffmann to Christa W

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Recent topics include Remembered Violence, Global Masculinities, and Crime and Detection in German. Current topic description (spring 2023): Under Surveillance: Literature and Visual Culture from the Enlightenment to the Present. Taught in English.

Writing Attentive

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

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HART B268 Telling Bryn Mawr Histories: Topics, Sources, and Methods

Not offered 2023-24

This course introduces students to archival and object-based research methods, using the College's built environment and curatorial and archival collections as our laboratory. Students will explore buildings, documents, objects, and themes in relation to the history of Bryn Mawr College. Students will frame an original group research project to which each student will contribute an individual component. Prerequisite: An interest in exploring and reinterpreting the institutional and architectural history of Bryn Mawr College and a willingness to work collaboratively on a shared project.

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HART B310 Topics in Medieval Art

Section 001 (Spring 2023): Medieval Manuscripts
Section 001 (Fall 2023): Art and Medieval Jewish Communities
Section 001 (Spring 2024): Africa & Byzantium

Fall 2023, Spring 2024

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisite: one course in History of Art at the 100- or 200-level or permission of the instructor. Enrollment preference given to majors and minors in History of Art.

Current topic description: Art and Medieval Jewish Communities: What does medieval Jewish art look like? How were Jewish people and Jewish practices represented in the art of other medieval communities? This course explores art and material culture produced between c. 300-1500 CE in contexts as diverse as late antique Rome, Umayyad Spain, and Gothic France. Looking at a wide variety of media, it will trace histories of Jewish devotion and self-representation. It will also study how art reflects the multiple relationships of subversion, appropriation, appreciation, tolerance, and oppression that Jewish communities met in different medieval contexts.

Current topic description: This seminar explores the current exhibition "Africa & Byzantium," mounted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and on view in 2023-2024 in New York and at the Cleveland Art Museum in 2024. Students will consider the exhibition in the context of several other recent exhibitions on medieval Africa as well as in conjunction with the exhibition "Ethiopia at the Crossroads," on view simultaneously at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Larger themes current in medieval studies -- including intercultural mobility, art and trade, "global" dimensions of Byzantine art, and the study of "race before race" in the pre-modern world -- will inform our discussions. Students will travel to New York and Baltimore to view exhibitions in person and will have the opportunity to meet with curators and scholars involved in both shows.

Course does not meet an Approach

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MEST B100 Introduction to Middle Eastern, Central Asian and North African Studies

Fall 2023

This course introduces the interdisciplinary field of Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on analytical approaches, methods, and tools. Students consider the dynamics of the region in the premodern and modern periods and become familiar with the major issues and debates that dominate various disciplinary approaches to the Middle East. Readings include both important canonical and alternative scholarship in order to examine the limits and possibilities of the field.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward International Studies

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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MEST B208 Introduction to the History of the Medieval Middle East

Fall 2023

This course will provide an overview of the political and social history of the Middle East and North Africa from the sixth century C.E., in the Late Antique Period, with the tensions between the Byzantine and Sasanian empires and the rise of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, to the fourteenth century C.E., with the Mongol invasions marking the end of the Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad. While students will be introduced to the political figures and frameworks of this period, there will also be a focus on social and cultural developments among the diverse populations that lived in the medieval Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa, their relationships with one another, and how they interacted with their neighbors. Issues of political and religious authority and legitimacy, the development of social and cultural institutions, the production of artistic and literary works will also be explored.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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MEST B210 The Art and Architecture of Islamic Spirituality

Spring 2024

This course examines how Muslim societies across time and space have used art and architecture in different ways to express and understand inner dimensions of spirituality and mysticism. Topics to be studied include: the calligraphical remnants of the early Islamic period; inscriptions found on buildings and gravestones; the majestic architecture of mosques, shrines, seminaries, and Sufi lodges; the brilliant arts of the book; the commemorative iconography and passion plays of Ashura devotion; the souvenir culture of modern shrine visitation; and the modern art of twenty-first century Sufism. Readings include works from history, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, and the history of art and architecture.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

Counts Toward Visual Studies

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MEST B302 The Legacy of Genghis Khan: The Mongols & Their Successors

Not offered 2023-24

This course examines the political, intellectual, and social history of Genghis Khan, the Ilkhanid Mongols, and their successors in the Middle East and Central Asia from the thirteenth century to the sixteenth century CE. We will consider the formation of new political norms, changing trends in trade, and an increasingly hybrid cultural and artistic production that characterize this period.

Writing Attentive

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

Counts Toward Middle Eastern & Islamic

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MEST B305 Merchants, Pilgrims & Rogues: Travels through the Mid East

Spring 2024

This course will critically approach the various ways that people have traveled to and within the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa in the medieval and modern periods. It will explore the many reasons that induced people to travel by looking at travelogues produced by these various travelers, the material culture of travel (e.g. pilgrimage scrolls, architecture and infrastructure that facilitated travel and lodging, movement of commodities, postcards, etc.), and scholarly work on travel, tourism, and migration more broadly. This course will include travels by merchants, pilgrims, adventurers, scholars, conquering armies, imperial powers, oil tycoons, and refugees.

Writing Attentive

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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flowers

Contact Us

Department of History

Professor Ignacio Gallup Diaz
Department Chair
Old Library 138
Email: igallupd@brynmawr.edu
Phone: 610-526-5037