European History

History Majors: If this is one of your four areas of study, complete one course from the selection below. See Undergraduate Degree Requirements for more details.

Survey of English history from 1603 to present, with emphasis on political and social history.
This course will focus on the ancient Mediterranean from 800 BCE to the XXX of the Roman Empire in the third century CE, emphasizing concepts of power and identity as demonstrated in politics, gender ideals, material culture and religious practice.
A political, social and cultural history of Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to the death of Alexander the Great.
This course offers a survey of Roman History from the prehistoric settlements in the area of the Seven Hills to the deterioration of the western Empire in the fifth century C.E. Special topics of interest include the material culture of the Roman world; the use of images in the pursuit of political agendas; classical notions of the divine; and concepts of gender, power, and identity. Popular representations of ancient Rome, specifically in film, will provide another area of consideration for comparison throughout the semester.
Games provide entertainment and recreation, but they also reflect, influence, and supply metaphors for many other aspects of life. We will explore the importance of games in shaping medieval and early modern societies by focusing on four games that have come to symbolize the era - chess, jousting, hunting, and dice games. Through our examination of these and other games, we will explore the social, political, religious, economic, legal, military, and intellectual history of medieval and early modern Europe.
In in the past two centuries, our world has been shaped by European industrialization, revolutionary movements, nation-building, empire-building, depression and war, provoking ongoing political, social and cultural challenges and struggles. Europeans’ working lives, gender, class and race relations, cultural practices and expectations have altered repeatedly. Europe’s transformation occurred not only due to impersonal forces beyond human control, but because people took action to shape their world, influencing the course of history. The forces they set in motion continue to mark world events, for good or ill, to this day. In this course we will examine these events and forces in their historical context, ever mindful of their present-day impacts.
An introduction to the early modern period between c. 1450 and c. 1800. Analysis of long-term characteristics of the period, like social structure, religion, politics and economics, will be combined with exploration of the lives of individuals and their experiences in this era.
This course explores the history of criminal justice systems in the ancient Mediterranean through close examination of select primary sources. Its primary focus is Greece and Rome, but it will also cover Pharaonic Egypt and the Ancient Near East. We shall move chronologically, geographically, and topically, treating a broad range of literary and archaeological evidence. Of central importance to the course will be the issue of boundaries: between right and wrong, imprisonment and freedom, individual and state. Law codes from Mesopotamia, tomb robbery in the Egyptian New Kingdom, the trial and execution of Socrates, police in the streets of Rome, execution by gladiator, spiritual and allegorical punishment: the course encompasses it all!
European powers' competition for empire intensified in the late nineteenth century, producing twentieth century wars that spread from Europe to span the globe, shaped by and reshaping domestic politics, international relations, gender expectations and social and cultural forms.
In this course we will consider the choices Europeans faced and the paths they took after the second World War, including the loss of empire and the stresses of the Cold War, the construction of welfare states and the European Union, and the rise and fall of Eastern European socialisms and their aftermath.
Survey of Irish history from the Union in 1800 to the present; the course will emphasize the political, cultural, and religious bases of Irish history.
This course is a survey of the history of early modern Ireland, starting in the 15th century and ending with the Union between England and Ireland in 1801. Students will develop an understanding of the problems and divisions that beset Ireland in this period and that have shaped its future until this day. The particular problems of political interaction, colonization, and the state formation as well as the contentious nature of religious developments in early modern Ireland will be addressed.
The political, social, economic and cultural history of Germany from the late Middle Ages to about 1800.
This course aims at a broad analysis of the enthralling history and legacies of the Tudor and Stuart dynasties that ruled England from 1458 to 1714. The objective is to understand how in a quarter century the radical political and religious events, and figures, transformed the social, political and religious structures of England, giving birth to the foundation of England as a united kingdom, and significant world power. The course begins by focusing on the Tudors with emphasis on Henry VIII and the English Reformation, the return to Catholicism under Mary Tudor, the creation of a new Anglican Church under Elizabeth I and its unforeseen consequences. From there, it explores the Stuarts, with attention to the catastrophic English Revolution culminating in the public execution of King Charles I in 1649, and the rise of the English republic that ended with the restoration of monarchy in 1660. The course then reflects on the transformation of the English state following the elite coup d’etat of 1688, the Glorious Revolution, a fundamental watershed that cleared the way for a constitutional monarchy, parliamentary sovereignty, and religious toleration in England.
Industrialization has been one of the most significant processes of the past millennium, and its effects remain controversial today. The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the mid-1700s and eventually spread to encompass the globe. In this course we will examine the unique preconditions, the unprecedented rise and decline, and the lasting effects of the first industrial revolution and the first industrial society, modern Britain. We will explore the characteristics distinguishing “modern” industrial societies; how economic upheaval produced struggles over political power among different social groups; and how understandings of government’s legitimate responsibilities and the state’s role in economic systems changed over time. We will also address impacts on the family and gender, and on relations between the state and individuals, as well as Britain’s changing relations with the continent of Europe, its empire, and the wider world.
Britain in 1914 was the wealthiest society in the world, with the largest empire the world has ever known. Yet this society was riven by class inequality and social and gender upheaval at home, while facing threats from overseas rivals and anticolonial agitation. In this course, we will explore how global war and economic upheaval produced cultural crisis and change; struggles over power and resources among different social groups; and changing understandings of government's responsibility for human welfare. We will also address impacts on the family and gender, as well as Britain's changing relations with the continent of Europe, its empire, and the wider world.
Political, socio-economic, and cultural history of modern France from 1815 to the present day, with emphasis placed on French politics and self-identity.
Socio-economic and intellectual roots of modern anti-Semitism, evolution of Nazi policy, genocide, responses of Axis and Allied governments, and responses of the Jews.
Beginning with Herodotus¿ history of the Persian Wars and concluding with Thucydides¿ account of the Peloponnesian War, you will read and discuss various types of ancient sources in order to write your own history of the growth of democracy, the spread of empire, and the persistence of war in Classical Greece.
In this class, you will investigate a variety of topics related to people¿s lives in Classical Greece: democracy, economics, family life, gender, slavery, science, religion, and friendship. You will read and discuss ancient texts from the 4th century BCE ¿ histories, court speeches, how-to manuals, and philosophy ¿ in order to figure out for yourself what happened and how people lived.
This course will focus on the history of Rome as it expands from an archaic 8th century village to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean, through civil war and the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. Although there is special focus on Roman power as it was distributed, manipulated, and claimed by citizens, warlords and demagogues, we will also be looking at social networks and the family, sub-elites and women, polytheism and ritual practice, the development of the city as a space for civic performances, as well as the dynamics of cultural interaction in the ancient Mediterranean. Students will concentrate throughout on the primary evidence (written and archaeological) and the ways in which historians use literary and material documentation to uncover different perspectives on the Roman past.
This course will focus on the history of Rome under the emperors, from approximately the 40s B.C.E. to the deterioration of the western Empire in the fifth century C.E. Special emphasis will be given to concepts of power and how these play out in politics, spectacle, gender ideals, art and urban structures, and religious practices of the imperial period. Students will make use of the primary sources of evidence, both ancient texts and archaeological material, to increase their understanding of the ancient Romans and to gain greater familiarity with the techniques of the historian in analysis and communication.
Major institutions and trends in Europe from the breakup of the Roman World to the 14th century.
Major institutions and trends in Europe from the breakup of the Roman World to the 14th century.
Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries with special emphasis on Italy as the seat of the Renaissance. Topics include the city states, humanism, the Church in an age of Schism and secularization, Renaissance art, the New Monarchies and European exploration and imperialism.
The Reformation in thought and action both from the perspective of its religious origins and of the political and social conditions. Analysis of its impact on 16th century Europe including the spread of Protestant reformation and its companion movement, counter-reformation.
Topics include philosophy, science, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, political economy.
The rise and fall of European empires from the fall of Rome to the present, a process involving Europeans with the non-European world and its people, continues to shape global events.
The origins and progress of the Revolution in France.
Political, socio-economic and cultural history of Russia and its expansion into an empire from the 10th century to 1917.
The Bolshevik Revolution and problems of Soviet and Russian history from 1917 to the present.
This course will examine the history of women in Europe from the Roman Empire to the present, exploring women's participation in social and family labor systems as well as religious, political and cultural life. We will explore how women simultaneously participated in and coped with historical processes such as changing religious and political systems, commercialization and industrialization, and state formation. We will examine major areas of human activity--economic, political, cultural, social, religious, intellectual, to see how they shaped and were in turn shaped by women's activities and women's experiences. We will consider what this has implied for women's autonomy, choices, and power.
This course examines anarchism's birth, growth, and development in various parts of Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
This course surveys the growth and development of the Spanish Empire, with particular attention to Latin America, under the guidance of the new Spanish dynastic house, the Bourbons. It will focus on reorganization of Spain's political affairs in the old world and the new world. In addition, Spain's socio-economic and cultural development will be discussed.
The central theme of this course is the conversion of Spain from a far-flung world empire to a modern European nation-state. It will explore the many political, socio-economic, and cultural changes that have transformed Spain from a nation in decline to one of the leading nations in the European Community.
This course explores the ways in which events and narratives drawn from the ancient Mediterranean have been represented in film, focusing on such issues as the role of the archaeologist in connecting to the ancient past, the depiction of Egypt as a font of mystic (and doomed!) power, and the presentation of Roman spectacle as an emblem of ruthless imperialism.
The exchange of scholarly information and/or secondary research, usually in a small group setting. Instruction often includes lectures by several different persons. Research projects may/may not be required of course registrants.
The exchange of scholarly information and/or secondary research, usually in a small group setting. Instruction often includes lectures by several different persons. Research projects may/may not be required of course registrants.
The course is an enriched exploration of sports, spectacle and theatrical performances in ancient Greece and Rome, incorporating both traditional delivery of content (lectures and discussion based on reading) combined with the opportunity to engage creatively with the material in workshop format. The semester is structured around the ancient festival calendar, moving from private and local dramatic works to Panhellenic athletic competitions to the major performances at the festival of Dionysus in Athens and during the Games in Imperial Rome, culminating with amphitheatrical spectacle under the Emperors. The performative material selected grapples with universal human themes, specifically the formation of cultural identities against the volatile backdrop of war and the tension between the exercise of power and the demands of the populace. Students will investigate major performance events in their original social and political contexts and then adapt five such events for presentation in a modern setting. These re-enactments will range from an audio-only podcast adaptation of Aristophanes, to staged readings of tragedy and comedy, to a marathon public reading of Homer¿s Iliad, to a re-created Roman arena. Through this kind of active interaction, students will gain a better understanding of foundational texts of the western tradition, texts which were crafted to be heard and seen, as social events, as shared experiences, not in isolation as intellectual exercises. The dynamic quality of hands-on work also allows insights to the body¿s role in communication, opening windows into subtler non-verbal features of these events, opening different perspectives on ancient content and allowing students to develop broader analytical techniques. By engaging with the historical past on a personal level, by re-experiencing key elements of past societies, students will acquire powerful and lasting insights on Mediterranean antiquity and on the human experience.