DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY > Undergraduate Studies > Spring Courses
2013 Spring Semester
Below is the list of Undergraduate courses offered by the History Department for Spring 2013. Extensive course listings can also be found on the Enrollment Services Homepage.
- 79-104 Global Histories
Lectures 1 & 2 Global Histories: Globalization through History
Lecture 3 Global Histories: Latin America and the Global Environment
Lecture 4 & 5 Global Histories: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East Since 1945
People throughout the world are caught up in multiple processes that cross national boundaries, link distant regions, and in many cases, encompass the planet as a whole. These transnational, transregional, and planetary processes are the latest incarnations of interactions that have been developing for a long time. If you want to understand the world today and where it might be heading, it’s crucial not only to think globally but also to relate current global processes to comparable processes in the past.
This course offers you several options for expanding on the skills you need to think globally through the medium of history. As their descriptions indicate, the differently titled lectures vary in their subject matter and the particular pathways they provide for exploring global processes. However, they all involve a mix of lectures and recitations; they have similar amounts of reading; and they all use essay-writing as the primary medium of assessment. Most importantly, they all strive to help you: (1) identify and assess the varied ways that scholars interpret global interactions as they unfold through time; (2) bring together insights from diverse fields in the humanities and social sciences to illuminate the development of global connections, differences, and divisions; (3) read, listen, discuss, take notes, and craft written arguments supported by different kinds of evidence; and, above all, (4) use explorations in global histories to engage the workings of the world today and in the future.
- 79-104/1&2 Global Histories: Globalization through History
Instructor Units Lecture 1, MW 12:30-1:20 Lecture 2, MW 1:30-2:20 R. Rouse 9 units Recitations-Fridays-A-J Recitations-Fridays-K-P
- 79-104/3 Global Histories: Latin America and the Global Environment
Instructor Units Lecture 3-MW 12:30-1:20 J. Soluri 9 units Recitations-Fridays-Q-R
- 79-104 4/5 Global Histories: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East Since 1945
Instructor Units Lecture 4, MW 12:30-1:20 Lecture 5, MW 1:30-2:20 L. Eisenberg 9 units Recitations-Fridays-S-T Recitations-Fridays-U-V
- 79-165 Freshman Seminar: The Historian as Detective and Storyteller
Instructor Units Lecture J. Devine 9 units TR 9:00-10:20
This journal offers a set of first-hand accounts from a different time and place in America, witnessing through their eyes, diverse parts of the country, and connecting first-hand with various elements of the period’s history. Moreover, these young men were about that age (19-20 years old) when, in modern American society, adolescents transition to adulthood – graduate from high school; go to college, or to work; perhaps marry and start families; perhaps leave home to set out on their own. In other words, they “come of age.”
This course will use the coming-of-age concept as a framework to examine the period of these boys’ lives from their birth to their Spring 1937 journey, while also using this conceptual framework to examine the current generation of 19-year-old Americans, and their coming-of-age experiences. Particular themes will include: politics and economics; the role of government in modern society; the role(s) of technology in societal change; manners, morals and popular culture; diversity; science and religion; and the art of historical story-telling. We will also focus on the Log and, through creative historical research, expand and illuminate its references to the period’s history. The course has no prerequisites, but it is assumed that its students will have had at least 1 year of U.S. History in high school.
- 79-168 Freshman Seminar: The Juvenile Court: Past and Present
Instructor Units Lecture S. Schlossman 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
Readings will include a wide variety of secondary and primary historical sources from different time periods. We will also view and discuss several feature and documentary films (including Frederick Wiseman’s 1973 classic, “Juvenile Court”).
As opportunities develop, we may also observe at the Allegheny County Juvenile Court, as well as hear from Court practitioners as guest lecturers.
The course will be discussion-based. I will do very little formal lecturing, and I expect students to take on increasing responsibility as the semester progresses for launching and guiding class discussions.
Evaluation will be based on in-class mid-term (25%) and final exams (25%), several oral presentations and brief writing assignments (25%), and contributions to class discussion (25%).
- 79-202 Flesh and Spirit: Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750
Instructor Units Lecture A. Creasman 9 units MW 10:30-11:50
This course examines European history from the Black Death to the French Revolution, a period known to history as the “early modern” period. That is, it marks a period in European history that was not quite medieval, and yet not quite modern. Many features of modern society, such as the nation-state, free-trade economies, religious pluralism, scientific rationalism, and secular culture trace their origins to the early modern era, yet the period was also marked by important continuities with the Middle Ages. During this course, we will explore how Europeans re-imagined their world in its transition from the medieval to the modern. Topics to be considered will include the “renaissance” of the arts, the problems of religious reform, exploration and colonialism, the rise of science, and the expansion of the state. Through these developments, we will focus on Europeans’ changing notions of the human body, the body politic, and the natural world, as well as their re-interpretations of the proper relation between the human and the divine, the individual and the community, and the present and the past.
- 79-206 The European Union at the Crossroads
Instructor Units Lecture A. Funk 9 units TR 9:00-10:20
- 79-207 Development of European Culture
Instructor Units Lecture D. Harsch 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
- 79-222 Between Revolutions: The Development of Modern Latin America
Instructor Units Lecture K. Faulk 9 units MWF 1:30-2:20
When the Haitian Revolution began in 1789, everything south of the newly created United States was under European colonial rule, slavery was an established institution, and the Catholic Church held considerable power over the daily lives of people. However, when the Mexican Revolution began in 1910, Spanish and Portuguese colonialism had collapsed along with slavery, and the power of the church had greatly diminished. New societal institutions emerged that reflected novel ideas about the role of secular nation-states, ”free market” economies, and the meanings of “civilization.” This course will use scholarly writings, fiction, film, and video to analyze the profound changes that took place in Latin American society during and between these two important revolutions. We will pay attention to the lives of both elites as well as the “everyday” people who helped to shape the region’s history.
- 79-231 American Foreign Policy, 1945-Present
Instructor Units Lecture N. Kats 9 units MW 3:00-4:20
- 79-239 Food Fights in American History, 1877-Present
Instructor Units Lecture R. Hutchings 9 units MWF 11:30-12:20
- 79-242 Topics in African American History: Reconstruction to the Present
Instructor Units Lecture J. Trotter 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
- 79-244 Women in American History
Instructor Units Lecture TBA 9 units TR 12:00-1:20
This course examines U.S. history through the eyes of women and gender. It begins in the colonial era (1600s) and runs chronologically to the present. It covers topics such as witchcraft, the story of Pocahontas, women's work, motherhood, slavery, and much more. We will look at the lives of individual women, as well as trends among women, paying attention to questions of race and class. At the same time, we will explore changing concepts of gender, meaning ideas about what women are or should be. Finally, the course asks: how different does American history look when we factor in women and gender?
- 79-249 20th Century U.S.
Instructor Units Lecture S. Naqvi 9 units MWF 12:30-1:20
The twentieth century marked the rise of the United States as a global power. By the end of the century, the United States had achieved economic, military, and political dominance. The United States also made great strides in expanding political and civil rights for workers, women, African-Americans, and gays and lesbians. This course explores the cultural implications of these developments on the generations of American people who came of age in the twentieth century. It assesses both the triumphs and tribulations of twentieth-century life. We will analyze the continuities, contradictions, and conflicts in American history, especially in regard to the nation’s twin pillars: democracy and capitalism. Special attention will be given to the evolving relationship among the state, the corporate sector, and ordinary people. Topics include: Progressivism, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights, Vietnam, and the New Conservatism.
- 79-254 The Jewish Diaspora in Latin America
Instructor Units Lecture M. Friedman 9 units TR 12:00-1:20
- 79-260 Topics in German Literature and Culture: Vienna at the Turn of the Century
Instructor Units Lecture G. Eichmanns 9 units MWF 2:30-3:20
- 79-266 Russian History: From Communism to Capitalism
Instructor Units Lecture A. Kilichenkov 9 units MW 9:00-10:20
This course covers a broad sweep of Russian history from the socialist revolution in 1917 to the turmoil of the present. Spanning almost a century of upheaval and transformation, the course examines the October revolution, the ruthless power struggles of the 1920s, the triumph of Stalin, the costly industrialization and collectivization drives, the battle against fascism, and the "wild west" capitalism and collapse of the social welfare state in the present time. The course provides essential background for anyone interested in understanding the explosive, history-making events in the former Soviet Union.
- 79-267 The Soviet Union in World War II: Military, Political and Social History
Instructor Units Lecture W. Goldman 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. German troops quickly reached the hills above Moscow, surrounded Leningrad in the longest running siege in modern history, devastated the country's economy, and slaughtered millions of Soviet civilians. Eventually, the Red Army came back from defeat to free the occupied territories and drive Hitler's army back to Berlin. This course examines why and how the war was fought. Using history, films, poetry, veterans accounts, documentaries, and journalism, it surveys the rise of fascism, the Stalinist purges of the Red Army, the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939, the Nazi massacres of Soviet Jews, peasants, and partisans, life on the home front, and the great battles of the war. Occasional Thursday evening film screenings. (There is no weekly Thursday evening class, although there is an occasional Thursday evening film, which is required.) The class will view four to six movies on Thursday evenings throughout the semester between 6:30 and 8:30. Attendance required.
- 79-268 History of the Russian Military
Instructor Units Lecture A. Kilichenkov 9 units MW 1:30-2:50
- 79-269 Historical Imagination in 19th Century Russian Literature
Instructor Units Lecture C. Castellano 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
Prerequisites: None for 9 units; an additional 3 units, requiring permission of the instructor, can be earned for work done in Russian.
- 79-275 Introduction to Global Studies
Instructor Units Lecture P. Eiss 9 units MW 9:00-10:20
- 79-276 The Global and Local: Theory, Practice and History in Anthropology of Globalization
Instructor Units Lecture R. Maddox 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
- 79-278 Rights to Representation: Indigenous People and their Media
Instructor Units Lecture J. Schachter 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
For decades anthropologists have been “picturing” others, in images as well as in words. This course explores the turn-around: when those who have been subjects of description take the opportunity to represent themselves. After a brief history of visual anthropology, we will concentrate on modes of representation developed by indigenous peoples. We will explore the meanings of “indigenous,” in connection with various modes of representation, including film, dramatic performances, art, the Internet, and social media. During the semester, we will compare—across time and space—the purposes for which media are used, the transmission of cultural values in media, the organization of production, and the intended audience. Anthropological method and theory will guide our inquiries. Course materials include disciplinary readings, documents dealing with indigenous rights, and examples of the work of indigenous peoples.
- 79-301 The Jewish American Experience
Instructor Units Lecture B. Burstin 9 units MW 3:00-4:20
This course is designed to look at the history of the Jewish community in America up to the present time. While the history of American Jewry is more than three centuries old, we will focus primarily on the 20th century. We will explore not just historical themes and developments, but we shall also spend time focusing on contemporary issues and perspectives. In our discussion, we shall touch on aspects of American history, European history and world Jewish history. There will be a variety of classroom activities including lectures, discussion, oral reports, films and guest speakers. The aim of this course is to make each class provocative, lively and informative by raising issues and questions regarding the past, present and future of the American Jewish community.
- 79-307 Religion and Politics in the Middle East
Instructor Units Lecture L. Eisenberg 9 units MWF 10:30-11:20
This course looks at the historic relationship among Islam, Judaism and Christianity and what they have to say about the nature of government, the state’s treatment of religious minorities, and relations among states. We will consider the impact of religion on domestic and foreign policy in selected Middle Eastern countries and communities, the role of religion in fueling conflicts, the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism, the challenge and opportunity this presents to the United States, and the potential for religion to help advance Middle East peace.
- 79-311 Introduction to Anthropology
Instructor Units Lecture S. Alfonso-Wells 9 units TR 9:00-10:20
Cultural anthropologists "make the strange familiar and the familiar strange," attempting to understand the internal logic of cultures which might, at first glance, seem bizarre to us, while at the same time probing those aspects of our own society which might appear equally bizarre to outsiders. In doing so, anthropology makes us more aware of our own culturally-ingrained assumptions, while broadening our understanding of the possibilities and alternatives in human experience. This course will use ethnographic writings (descriptive accounts of particular cultures), as well as ethnographic films, to investigate the ways in which diverse societies structure family life, resolve conflict, construct gender relations, organize subsistence, etc. We will assess the advantages and pitfalls of comparing cross-cultural data, analyze the workings of power within and between societies, and consider the politics of cultural representations. We will also discuss what the anthropologist's relationship is to the people s/he studies, and the responsibilities inherent in that relationship. Throughout the course, students will learn the importance of an historical perspective on culture, looking at how and why societies change, and considering how we, as anthropologists, should assess these changes.
- 79-317 Art, Anthropology and Empire
Instructor Units Lecture P. Eiss 9 units MW 12:00-1:20
This seminar will explore the anthropology and history of aesthetic objects, as they travel from places considered "primitive" or "exotic," to others deemed "civilized" or "Western." First, we will consider twentieth-century anthropological attempts to develop ways of appreciating and understanding objects from other cultures, and in the process to reconsider the meaning of such terms as "art" and "aesthetics." Then we will discuss several topics in the history of empire and the "exotic" arts, including: the conquest, colonization and appropriation of indigenous objects; the politics of display and the rise of museums and world fairs; the processes by which locally-produced art objects are transformed into commodities traded in international art markets; the effects of "exotic" art on such aesthetic movements as surrealism, etc.; and the appropriation of indigenous aesthetic styles by "Western" artists. Finally, we will consider attempts by formerly colonized populations to reclaim objects from museums, and to organize new museums, aesthetic styles, and forms of artistic production that challenge imperialism's persistent legacies.
- 79-325 Art and Religion
Instructor Units Lecture E. Balas 9 units TR 6:30-7:50pm
- 79-328 Photographers and Photography Since World War II
Instructor Units Lecture L. Benedict-Jones 9 units Mondays 6:30-9:20pm
Invented in 1839, photography was a form of visual expression that immediately attracted a large public following. Portraiture, for example, was now available for the masses and not just the aristocracy. Starting around 1900, photography was practiced with two dominant strands. One of these firmly believed in the power of photographs to provide a window on the world, and was led by Lewis Hine, whose documentary photographs for the National Child Labor Committee helped to ameliorate living and working conditions for thousands of immigrant children. The other strand adhered to the philosophy of Alfred Stieglitz, founder of the elite Photo-Secession movement in the United States, who adamantly affirmed that photographs were first and foremost reflections of the soul. As such they were art objects, equal to painting, drawing and sculpture. These two schools of thought guided photographers throughout the twentieth century.
Following World War II, a collision of sorts occurred when human-interest photographs were organized into a landmark exhibition, called The Family of Man, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This mural-like display, which toured museums throughout the nation and provided a best-selling catalogue, angered many prominent photographers such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and others, but gave rise to a widespread popularization of photography. To counter this, Minor White launched a journal, Aperture, still in existence, which aimed to carry on the vision of Stieglitz. This course explores in depth the tremendous range of photographic expression since World War II and examines in particular the contributions of significant image-makers such as Helen Levitt, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Harry Callahan, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Cindy Sherman, Annie Leibovitz, Duane Michals, Carrie Mae Weems, Nan Goldin, James Nachtwey, and many others. Classes include a slide lecture, student presentation, and video segments that introduce a focused selection of images by major photographers in an attempt to understand their intentions, styles, and influences. Some assignments involve attending exhibitions in museums and galleries around Pittsburgh.
- 79-337 China and Europe in the Modern World: The Great Divergence Debate in Economic History
Instructor Units Lecture E. Kaske 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
- 79-340 Juvenile Delinquency and Film From the “Blackboard Jungle” to the “The Wire”
Instructor Units Lecture S. Schlossman 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
How have American films portrayed juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system? What does filmmakers’ portrayal of juvenile delinquency tell us about American culture and society? Do films vividly capture or badly distort the "realities" of crime and the operations of the justice system? This course uses feature films (to be viewed in advance of class) from the post-World War II era to the present, as well as several popular and scholarly readings from the same time period, to explore these issues.
The course will be run as a colloquium, with students playing leadership roles in launching and guiding class discussions. There will be both a mid-term and a final exam. Two classes will be reserved for viewing and discussion of student-selected films.
- 79-343 History of American Urban Life
Instructor Units Lecture Z. Falck 9 units MWF 9:30-10:20
This course examines the development of urban America during the 19th and 20th centuries. It explores the evolution of urban structure; the development and impact of urban technologies (transportation, water/wastewater, energy and communications); ethnic and racial change and class conflict in the city; and political and policy issues. It discusses alterations in American city structure and form through the walking city, the networked city, and the development of the suburbs.
- 79-345 The Roots of Rock and Roll, 1870-1970
Instructor Units Lecture S. Sandage 9 units TR 1:30-2:50 and Wednesdays 6:30-9:20pm
This large-lecture course spans the century from 1870 to 1970 and spends 8 weeks on “roots” music – slave songs, Anglo-Appalachian ballads, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, and 1920s-1930s blues and country – before you’ll hear a single electric guitar. After studying Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Hank Williams, and other early artists, we’ll spend the last 7 weeks on revolutionaries like Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. The format is informal lecture and discussion on Tues/Thurs afternoons, plus a required film screening every Wednesday evening, 6:30-9:20pm. Assignments include reading 2-3 books and many articles (including some cultural theory), weekly music listening, four short papers, occasional quizzes, and a final project.
- 79-347 Urban Crisis, Urban Renewal and Gentrification
Instructor Units Lecture A. Skhuda 9 units TR 3:00-4:20
- 79-349 The Holocaust in Historical Perspective
Instructor Units Lecture B. Burstin 9 units MW 12:00-1:20
This course explores the attitudes and actions of the Holocaust perpetrators, the bystanders, and the victims. Moreover, it discusses what implications and issues arise from this watershed event in World and Jewish history. It descends into the world of the Holocaust not only by reading about events and viewing several films, but also by meeting Holocaust survivors.
- 79-354 Energy and Climate: History, Science, Technology, and Policy in the US 1776-2076
Instructor Units Lecture D. Hounshell 9 units MW 3:00-4:20
- 79-357 History of Black American Music
Instructor Units Lecture K. Keeling 6 units MW 2:30-3:20
Come and explore the rich musical heritage of Black America. This course will survey the music of Black America beginning with the African legacy and continuing through the music of the Twentieth Century. Class sessions will involve discussions, listening, viewing of films, and reports by students on topics of individual interest. Discussions will involve, historical, cultural and political perspective, as well as the music and composers themselves. Lecturing will be at a minimum. Innovative testing in quiz show format will be used.
No prerequisites required. Open to upper level undergraduate students.
- 79-360 Historical Evidence and Interpretation
Instructor Units Lecture A. Creasman 12 units MW 3:00-4:20
- 79-372 Perspectives on the Urban Environment
Instructor Units Lecture J. Tarr 9 units TR 1:30-2:50
- 79-380 Ethnographic Methods
Instructor Units Lecture J. Schachter 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
- 79-383 Epidemic Disease and Public Health
Instructor Units Lecture C. Acker 9 units TR 9:00-10:20
Epidemics of infectious disease are both biological and social events. Through the perspectives of the changing ecology of disease and social construction of disease, this course examines epidemics of such diseases as bubonic plague, cholera, yellow fever, and AIDS. Besides considering the social factors that help determine the epidemiology of a particular outbreak of disease, the course analyzes human responses to epidemic disease. These responses include popular attitudes toward the disease and those who contract it, as well as public health measures intended to control spread of the disease.
- 79-384 Garbage Gone Global: Managing Surplus, Waste, and Desire
Instructor Units Lecture K. Faulk 9 units MWF 10:30-11:20
- 79-389 Stalin and Stalinism
Instructor Units Lecture W. Goldman 9 units TR 1:30-2:50
- 79-394 Revitalizing Pittsburgh: Malls, Mills and Medical Centers
Instructor Units Lecture F. Campet 9 units TR 12:00-1:20
- 79-396 Music and Society in 19th and 20th Century Europe and the U.S.
Instructor Units Lecture N. Kats 9 units Thursdays 6:30-9:20pm
- 79-397 Memoirs and Autobiography in Historical Context
Instructor Units Lecture D. Harsch 9 units TR 10:30-11:50
- 79-400 Advanced Seminar in Global Studies
Instructor Units Lecture R. Maddox 12 units TR 1:30-2:50
Prerequisites: 79-275 and Theoretical and Topical Core must be complete or concurrently enrolled.
- 79-506 Global Studies Internship
Instructor Units Lecture J. Soluri 9 units TBA
- 79-168 Freshman Seminar: The Juvenile Court: Past and Present