Carnegie Mellon University

2021 Fall Semester

Below is the list of Undergraduate courses offered by the History Department for Fall 2021. Extensive course listings can also be found on the Undergraduate Catalog.

Instructor Units Lecture 1: MW 1:25-2:15PM
R. Law 9 Recitations on Fridays

[Note: Students who have taken and passed 79-104, Global Histories: Genocide and Weapons of Mass Destruction, may not enroll.]

Death and Destruction: Genocide and Weapons of Mass Destruction is an introductory survey of modern global history that traces the origins and developments of genocide and weapons of mass destruction. The course focuses on these two phenomena because halting systematic massacres and curbing the proliferation of potent arms are top priorities in international relations today. But this understanding of world affairs did not always hold sway. In fact, in the last few centuries mankind, whether as individuals or organizations, channeled much effort into inventing and refining the ideological, technological, artistic, and administrative means for mass murder or war. How and why did modern societies become so willing and competent in inflicting death and destruction on fellow humans? What has been and can be done to prevent similar events from recurring? We will search for answers to these questions by analyzing past incidents that resulted in mass deaths or sophisticated arms. Through lectures, discussions, readings, and assignments, we will examine the European encounter with the Western Hemisphere, imperialism, the Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Japan, the Cold War, and decolonization and independence. Concretely, students will have a chance to familiarize themselves with the concepts and historical facts of genocide and weapons of mass destruction. Philosophically, they will come to appreciate the significance of unintended consequences and the ambiguity of human progress, a realization that will guide them in life.

Instructor Units Lecture 1: MW 12:20-1:10pm
R. Law 9 Recitations on Fridays

[Note: Students who have taken and passed 79-104, Global Histories: History of Democracy, may not enroll.]

The Best Worst Form of Government: History of Democracy is an introductory survey of modern global history that examines the evolution and expressions of democracy. The course focuses on this governing philosophy because most humans live in a democracy or at least under a regime with democratic trappings. By the end of the 20th century, the march of democracy seemed all but unstoppable, as most nations in the world had established a version of it as their governing system. Even many authoritarian states had to adopt democratic elements such as popular elections, representative assemblies, constitutions, and terms of office. But the history of collective governance shows repeatedly that its progress was not irreversible and its continuation was not inevitable. Still, the ideals of democracy remain a powerful inspiration for many to this day. How did democracy become such a widespread phenomenon? What are its features, advantages, and disadvantages? What factors determined whether a democracy thrived or fell? We will attempt to answer these questions through lectures, role play exercises, discussions, readings, and assignments on historical democracies in ancient Rome, Revolutionary France, Weimar Germany, Taisho Japan, the Chinese nation, and the Iranian nation. By the end of the course, students will have gained a basic appreciation of the philosophical appeal and practical challenges of collective governance, so that they will be able to decide for themselves what role democracy should play in their life, and vice versa. 

Instructor Units Lecture 
A. Creasman 9 MW 1:25 - 2:45PM

This course will examine European legal and social institutions and their role in defining and punishing crime in the early modern era (c. 1400-1800). European society was fundamentally transformed in this period of transition between the medieval and the modern eras, and the laws and legal systems that exist in the Western world today reflect those influences at the deepest levels.  This course will focus on how shifting definitions of "crime" and "punishment" reflected prevailing societal attitudes and anxieties toward perceived acts of deviance and persons on the margins of society. Assigned readings will examine the evolution of early modern European criminal court systems and the investigation and punishment of crime, focusing in particular on the historical debates concerning the use of torture and capital punishment and the evolution of modern policing and prisons. It will also address the criminalization of social deviance (witches, religious minorities, and other outcasts) and the legal enforcement of sexual norms and gender roles. The course concludes with an examination of current debates concerning criminal justice reform, policing, torture, and criminal punishment.

Instructor Units Lecture
A. Creasman 9 MW 3:05 - 4:25PM

Between the late 15th and the early 18th centuries, many Europeans became convinced that their society was threatened by a conspiracy of diabolic witches. Although Western beliefs in witchcraft and "devil worship" dated back to antiquity, the 16th and 17th centuries witnessed the most intense campaign of witch-hunting in all of Europe's history. Before it was over, the "Great European Witch-Hunt" of the early modern era cost the lives of thousands across Europe and in its colonies. And although the witch-hunts in early modern Europe and its colonies gradually came to an end, beliefs in witchcraft persist into the modern era and, in many parts of the world today, continue to generate campaigns of popular violence against alleged perpetrators. This course examines witchcraft beliefs and witch-hunting in historical perspective in both their European and colonial contexts. In addition to the early modern witch-hunts, it will address modern witchcraft beliefs and consider witch-hunting as a global problem today. It will focus on the origin and rationale of witch beliefs, the factors driving the timing and intensity of witch-hunts, and the patterns of accusations. Throughout, we will examine the many historical and regional variations in witch beliefs and prosecutions and explore how they reflect major social and cultural issues such as the relationship between "popular" and "elite" culture; religious change; state formation; gender and patriarchy; and the rationalization of law, medicine, and science. This course satisfies one of the elective requirements for the Religious Studies minor.

Instructor Units Lecture 
C. Grant 6 TR 10:10 - 11:30AM

The course will examine the history of the First World War from a unique perspective by focusing especially on two of the Allied powers: France and Russia. In addition to an overview of political and military events, we will study the experiences of soldiers and civilians in the trenches and on the home front. The war had profoundly disruptive effects on both countries, and we will learn about the political and social consequences, including the 1917 revolution in Russia, the French Army mutinies, and the longer-term effects on gender roles, the workers’ movement, international relations, and artistic expression. The course is open to all students, including those who have previously studied the First World War in some detail. And if you are able to read documents in French, Russian, or both languages we will find an opportunity for you to put those skills to use in this course.

Instructor Units Lecture 
M. Hauser 3 Tuesdays, 7-8:20PM

The “Roaring Twenties” was a time of Jazz Age speakeasys, technological innovation, and mass advertising. This course will examine a different topic in popular culture and entertainment per week, exploring the excitement of daily life alongside larger structural forces that gave shape to the era’s distinctive identity. Guiding questions will be: How did the country’s economy, society, and politics shape the development of popular culture? How did artistic performers and business entrepreneurs develop their craft and products in this environment? And how did popular culture impact the country’s economy, society, and politics?

Instructor Units Lecture 
A. McGee 9 MW 3:05 - 4:25PM

This course examines the political, social, and cultural history of the United States after 1945, seeking to answer the question: How did we get from there to here, and what did the momentous post-World War II years mean for the ordinary Americans who experienced them? Readings and class discussion will examine political and economic transformation, civil rights, social movements, and intellectual debates over American identity and purpose within the context of new technologies, influential popular culture, shifting demographics, and international context. Primary sources, oral histories, scholarly secondary readings, and period films and media will provide lenses into the broad forces, institutional structures, and lived experiences of recent American history.

Instructor Units Lecture
P. Eiss 9 TR 1:25 - 2:45PM

This course provides a survey of Mexican history and culture over a variety of periods, from the rise of the Aztec empire, to Spanish conquest and colonization, to national independence, to the Mexican Revolution and contemporary Mexico.  A wide range of topics will be addressed, such as: race, ethnicity, and indigeneity; state formation and politics; national identity and the politics of memory; migration and the border; and the drug war.  Students will discuss historical and anthropological scholarship on Mexico, but will also consider cultural documents of various kinds, like Mexican music, art, and food.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Trotter Jr. 9 TR 8:35 - 9:55AM

This course explores changes in the African American experience from the end of the Civil War to the emerging era of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  Through an examination of a wide range of scholarly and popular debates in African American life and history, this course will emphasize transformations in both inter- and intra-race relations; economic mobility as well as economic inequality; and forms of political engagement and grassroots movements for social change. We will explore these developments under the impact of the segregationist regime; the Great Migration; the rise of the urban-industrial working class; increasing residential segregation; growth and expansion of the middle class; and the fluorescence of the Modern Black Liberation Movement. Students will compare the dynamics of the contemporary Black Lives Matter Movement with earlier 20th century grassroots social and political movements in African American and U.S. history. Finally, based upon a mix of primary and secondary sources and lectures, students will write a series of short analytical essays; and establish their own unique interpretation of key issues in Black History.

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Winters 9 MW 11:50AM1:10PM

This course is a survey. It 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?

Instructor Units Lecture
L. Tetrault 9 TR 10:10 - 11:30AM

Did you know that American citizens have no right to vote?  None. The United States is one of the only constitutional democracies in the world that does not enshrine this right in its founding charter. Not only did the nation’s founders punt on creating one, social movements have also never succeeded in creating one. Yet we hear all the time about how different groups won the vote:  Black men in 1870; women in 1920; everyone else in 1965. Again, nope. So what, then, have voting rights activists won over the centuries? And how and why has an affirmative right to vote never been achieved? Starting with the U.S. Constitution and working forward to the present, this course will help you make sense of all the accusations swirling in the news about voter fraud, voter suppression, voter theft, voting rights, and all the other things no one ever taught you about the world’s oldest—and strangest—democracy.    

Instructor Units Lecture
W. Goldman 9 TR 10:10 - 11:30AM

This course covers an epic set of events in Russian history from the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 to the death of Stalin in 1953. Spanning almost a century of upheaval and transformation, it examines what happened when workers and peasants tried to build a new society built on social justice and economic equality. Learn about Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and other revolutionary thinkers and dreamers. The course surveys the revolutions in 1917, the Civil War and the Red victory, the ruthless power struggles of the 1920s, the triumph of Stalin, the costly industrialization and collectivization drives, the "Great Terror," and the battle against fascism in World War II. It ends with the death of Stalin, and the beginning of a new era of reform.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Soluri 9 TR 3:05 - 4:25PM

What role has coffee played in connecting people and places to capitalist markets and consumer cultures? What are the economic, social, and environmental consequences of these connections? How did espresso change from an "ethnic drink" to something served at McDonalds? Why do college students (and professors!) hang out in coffee shops? This course will answer these questions and more by using coffee to learn about the history of capitalism, and capitalism to understand the history of coffee. We will follow the spread of coffee and capitalism across the globe, with excursions to places where people grow coffee (Ethiopia, Yemen, Indonesia, Brazil, and Costa Rica), and also where they drink coffee (Seattle, Tokyo, Seoul, New York, and Berlin). In the process, we will confront global problems linked to economic inequality, trade, gender relations, and environmental degradation. Course meetings will combine interactive lecture, group discussions, and mini-presentations. Assignments will include journal responses, ethnographic observations, and writing a short script that tells a story about coffee and capitalism.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Gilchrist 6 MW 1:25 - 2:45PM

During last year’s presidential election, religion once again figured prominently in American politics. Survey organizations often claim that “religiosity” correlates with conservative politics, but that can be highly misleading, as religious people are in fact all over the political map. Thomas Jefferson’s mention of a “wall of separation” between church and state reminds us that religious institutions are kept separate from government in America, but religious motivations have always played an important part in our politics. This course will provide an historical perspective on the role of religion in public life from the late 18th century to the present, including religion's influence on political parties and public policies, and the boundaries set by the Constitution on such activity.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Aronson 9 MW 10:10 - 11:30AM

This course will describe and analyze aspects of the development of public policy in the United States from the colonial era to the present, with a focus on the post-Civil War era. For the purposes of this course, public policy will be defined as the making of rules and laws and their implementation by government: 1) in response to the failure of private actors (i.e., markets) to reach desirable outcomes; 2) to regulate markets to influence their outcomes; or 3) in an attempt to achieve a particular normative vision of what society ought to be like. This course assumes that the public policy landscape is complex but still comprehensible given the proper set of analytical frameworks and appropriate historical background. Particular emphasis will be placed on: changing views about the authority of the government to intervene in economic and social issues; the best way to balance individual and collective interests; and the variability within society of the life courses of individuals. Topics to be covered include: immigration and health care/health insurance, among others.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Tarr 6 MW 11:50AM - 1:10PM

This course will focus on the transformations, both positive and negative, of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh region in the period from 1945 through the present. It will explore the following themes: the rise of industrial Pittsburgh, the redevelopment of the city in the Pittsburgh Renaissance; urban renewal and its consequences; the collapse of the steel industry and its impacts; the development of an Eds/Meds service economy; air, land and water environmental issues; and the city's changing demography.

Instructor Units Lecture
E. Grama 6 MW 10:10 - 11:30AM

What is home? What does it mean to belong? What does it mean to be mobile? Is mobility a privilege or a curse? How do experiences of migration, exile, and displacement shift one's understanding of home? This course examines the modern patterns of mobility and displacement, with a focus on the US and Europe at particular moments during the 19th,the 20th, and 21st centuries. We will focus on several case studies to illustrate broader concepts: the connection between the formation of nation-states and the rise of exclusionary citizenship; the emergence of 20th-century modern legal concepts such as "refugee" and "asylum"; the influence of the Cold War on the immigration policies in the US; and the criminalization of border-crossing.

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Oresick 9 Mondays 7:00 - 9:50PM

Photography was announced to the world almost simultaneously in 1839, first in France and then a few months later in England. Accurate "likenesses" of people were available to the masses, and soon reproducible images of faraway places were intriguing to all. This course will explore the earliest image-makers Daguerre and Fox Talbot, the Civil War photographs organized by Mathew Brady, the introduction in 1888 of the Kodak by George Eastman, the critically important social documentary photography of Jacob Riis and his successor, Lewis Hine, the Photo-Secession of Alfred Stieglitz, the Harlem Renaissance of James VanDerZee, the precisionist f64 photographers Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Edward Weston, and other important photographers who came before World War II. The class will be introduced to 19th century processes, such as the daguerreotype, tintype, and ambrotype, as well as albumen prints, cyanotypes, and more.

Instructor Units Lecture (REMOTE)
P. Eiss 9 TR 10:10 - 11:30AM

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.

Instructor Units Lecture

J. Aronson

R. Mejia

9 MW 1:25 - 2:45PM
This course will teach students about the origins of modern human rights and the evolution of methods to document the extent to which these rights are being upheld or violated. The need to understand and document human rights issues is at the center of the most pressing current events. From threats to democracy and civil rights at home and abroad to work holding perpetrators of mass harm accountable in legal proceedings to efforts to quantify and advance economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, making human rights violations visible is fundamental to achieving a more just world. We will begin with an overview of the history of human rights, the main philosophical and political debates in the field, and the most relevant organizations, institutions, and agreements. We will then delve into several specific cases that highlight methodological opportunities and challenges in the context of human rights, including: the identification of mass atrocity victims, the disappeared, and missing migrants; efforts to estimate civilian casualties in war in real-time; the documentation of police brutality and other human rights violations (especially against minority groups) with smartphones and the analysis of human rights media; as well as the use satellite imagery, drones, and GIS for the documentation of genocide, environmental rights violations, and war crimes. We will critically assess the documentation and measurement challenges that arise in each context and how the human rights and scientific communities have responded. After reviewing these cases, we will conclude by reflection on why the documentation of human rights actually matters and what happens to evidence once it is gathered. Students will then take what they’ve learned and do a multidisciplinary group project in which they document a rights violation in Western Pennsylvania. Assignments will include one essay, one case study/data analysis assignment, and a group project that includes a written component, quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis, and a presentation.

Instructor Units Lecture
E. Sanford 9 MW 3:05 - 4:25PM

This course explores how and why American medicine developed into its present form. By exploring major developments in American medicine and public health, students will examine the voices of historical actors, including physicians, patients, policymakers, and researchers. In analyzing these voices, students will learn what was at stake as Americans confronted diseases and struggled to explain and cure them. Students will also examine medical research, education, disease patterns, patient experiences, and technologies from the colonial period to the present day. Readings include a range of primary and secondary sources as well as fiction and non-fiction accounts of medicine and health in America.

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Slate 9 TR 1:25 - 2:45PM

What is the relationship between education and democracy? By examining a series of case studies at the intersection of education and the civil rights movement, this course will prepare students to approach contemporary educational debates as historically-informed critical thinkers. The controversy surrounding charter schools, vouchers, the common core, and the role of standardized testing cannot be understood outside the long history of debates regarding the relationship between education and democracy. Are schools meant to perpetuate the status quo? How did both traditional and more radical forms of education advance the struggle for civil rights? What role have students played in advancing civil rights and democracy? While exploring these questions, we will also partner with local high school students and teachers to bring our learning beyond the classroom.

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Sandage 9 TR 1:25 - 2:45PM

This course is about open source, collaborative innovation and the impact of social and technological change on American music. We will spend the first half on early "remix" music (slave songs, Anglo-Appalachian ballads, ragtime, and Depression era blues and country). After studying Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Hank Williams, and other early artists, we'll spend the second half on revolutionaries like Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. The format is informal lecture and discussion. Assignments include reading two books plus some articles, listening to short Spotify playlists, writing three short essays, and doing a final paper project. NB: This course may be taken pass-fail (with submission of appropriate form). This course is normally taught in the spring, but it will not be offered in spring 2022.

Instructor Units Lecture
M. Hauser 6 TR 3:05 - 4:25PM

Throughout American history, ordinary citizens joined the armed forces and saw their lives and country change as a result of the challenging times they lived through. This course will follow recent trends that integrate military life with social and cultural history, focusing on conscripted soldiers' experiences rather than on commanding officers' strategies. Guiding questions will be: How did the country determine who could and should serve? How did troops cope with the harsh realities of the battlefield? How did war change life on the home front? And how did recruits' wartime ordeals shape their expectations of what society owed them as veterans?

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Gilchrist 6 MW 3:05 - 4:25pm

Scandal, conspiracy, and partisan propaganda have been among the stuff of media ever since newspapers first appeared in America, and now they figure prominently in electronic media as well. The question "What is truth?" is not just a matter of philosophical speculation, but an essential issue at every level of American life, from individuals on social media to citizens, journalists, and politicians responsible for sustaining a democratic society. This course is literally "ripped from the headlines," examining contemporary conflicts over credibility in print and online in the context of historical experience.  My goal is to help you think in new ways about how to determine when news really is "fake" and when it's just "an inconvenient truth."

Instructor Units Lecture
K. Walsh 6 TR 11:50AM - 1:10PM

At-home births, epidurals, C-sections: women's experiences with childbirth have varied widely over time. Many of these differing experiences stem from societal developments that first occurred in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing specifically on England and the United States, we will identify the factors (e.g., human agents, ideologies, etc.) that influenced major changes in the childbirth process and examine how these changes affected mothers and childbirth practitioners of the time. Additionally, we will consider what implications this historical study holds for interpreting contemporary debates surrounding women's health issues, including but not limited to childbirth. Throughout this course, we make liberal use of primary sources to develop arguments about the large-scale changes that occurred between 1600 and the present. Through assigned readings, class discussions, and diverse course assignments, students will develop an informed perspective on the transformation(s) of childbirth.

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Theriault 6 MW 1:25 - 2:45PM

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Neil Smith famously observed that "there is no such thing as a natural disaster." This course takes a cue from Smith by examining the social production of disasters in the past and present, from acute environmental events like typhoons and earthquakes to disasters of "slow violence" like chronic exposure to toxic pollution and food insecurity. Examining case studies from around the world, we will explore how these different forms of disaster collide with inequalities of race, class, and gender - and in the process challenge us to rethink the relationship between nature and society.

Instructor Units Lecture
E. Russell 9 MW 10:10 - 11:30AM

This course examines the ways in which technology and society have shaped each other in the United States from the colonial era to the present.  Topics include Native American and technologies, farming, industrialization, transportation, automobiles, aerospace, information technology, drugs, and biotechnology.  Students will read a textbook, write brief essays about technologies of their choice, and discuss their essays and the text in class.  The course welcomes students from any major. 

Instructor Units Lecture
B. Koerber 9 TR 11:50AM - 1:10PM

Note: students who have taken course number 79-388, with former titles, Race, Gender, and the Politics of Sports in America since 1900 or History of Sports in the United States, may not enroll.

In this course, we will survey the history of sport in the United States from the late nineteenth-century into the twenty-first century. While we will discuss star athletes, famous games, and popular teams, we will focus more on evaluating the significance of sport in American history. We will address issues of race, gender, class, and poltics; the commercialization of sport; as well as the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and higher education. We will pay particular attention to inclusion and exclusion in sport – who was allowed to play and who was not – and how that changed (or did not change) over time. By semester’s end, students will be able to look beyond the box scores and question how sports has reflected larger trends in American life as well as how it has influenced American history and our world today.  

Instructor Units Lecture

N. Kats

S. Schlossman

9 Wednesdays 7:00 - 9:50PM

This course will examine the arts in Pittsburgh, both historically and in the present. We will focus especially on musical events and art exhibits scheduled by the city's museums and concert halls during the semester. The "curriculum" will derive from the artistic presentations themselves, which will provide a springboard for reading assignments, seminar discussions, and research papers in the history of music and art. We will also examine the historical development of cultural institutions in Pittsburgh. The History Department will pay for students' admission to all museums. However, students will be charged a supplemental fee (at significantly discounted prices) to help subsidize the considerable expense of purchasing tickets for concerts and performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, Chamber Music Society, and Renaissance and Baroque Society. Attendance at all musical events and art exhibits is required. Prerequisite: Please check your overall course schedule: you must be available to attend art exhibits on several Saturdays, and to attend musical events on several Monday, Friday and/or Saturday evenings.
PLEASE NOTE: If the course, due to the pandemic, must be offered remotely during the Fall 2021 semester – as we have done during the past academic year – we will meet via Zoom, with a revised curriculum, on Wednesday evenings between 7:00 and 9:50 pm.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Tarr 6 MW 11:50AM - 1:10PM

Cities throughout the world are our largest and most vulnerable population centers. Yet, since their origins, cities have consistently faced environmental and public health challenges from both natural and human- made factors and their interaction. This course will explore some of these environmental and public health challenges and events over time, examining the factors that resulted in urban crises. A number of the environmental and public health cases considered will focus on Pittsburgh.

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Theriault 12 MW 11:50AM - 1:10PM


This research seminar is the capstone course for Global Studies majors. The course is designed to give you a chance to define and carry out a research project of personal interest. The first few weeks of the course will be devoted to developing a research topic and locating sources. We will then work on how to interpret and synthesize sources into a coherent and compelling thesis before you begin drafting your paper. Your research may be based on in-depth reading of a body of scholarly work, field notes from ethnographic observations, archival research, analysis of literary or visual media, or some combination of these sources. Incorporation of some non-English language sources is strongly encouraged where possible. Independent work, self-initiative, participation in discussion, and peer evaluations are required. There are several interim deadlines that will be strictly enforced in order to ensure successful completion of the course.

Prerequisites: 79-275 and Theoretical and Topical Core must be complete or concurrently enrolled. Corequisite: 79-275.

Instructor Units Lecture
N. Kats 9 TR 1:25 - 2:45PM

"Last night I was in the kingdom of shadows," said the writer Maxim Gorky in 1896 after seeing a film for the first time. "How terrifying to be there!" Early film inspired fear and fascination in its Russian audiences, and before long became a medium of bold aesthetic and philosophical experimentation. This seminar-style course surveys the development of Russian and Soviet film, paying equal attention to the formal evolution of the medium and the circumstances - historical, cultural, institutional - that shaped it. We will examine Sergei Eisenstein's and Dziga Vertov's experiments with montage in light of the events of the Bolshevik Revolution and the directors' engagement with Marxism; Georgi Alexandrov's and the Vasiliev brothers' Socialist Realist production against the backdrop of Stalinist censorship; Andrei Tarkovsky's and Kira Muratova's Thaw-era films within the broader context of New Wave Cinema; and the works of contemporary directors, including Aleksei Balabanov, Alexander Sokurov, and Andrey Zvyagintsev, in connection with the shifting social and political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Besides introducing students to the Russian and Soviet cinematic tradition, this course will hone their skills in close visual analysis. No prior knowledge of Russian language or culture is required. The course is conducted in English, but students will have the option to do work in Russian for three extra course units.

Instructor Units Lecture
D. Parker 9 MW 1:25 - 2:45PM

The October Revolution of 1917 had profound effects not only for Russian society, but also for literature and culture. Even before the Revolution, Vladimir Lenin stressed the importance of literature on the hearts and minds of people. After the Revolution, the new Soviet state demanded writers to become, in Stalin's words, "engineers of human souls," and proclaimed "socialist realism" as the only permissible method of creative work in literature. This course focuses on masterpieces of Russian prose and poetry of the 20th century. Readings will include the "proletarian" writings of Maxim Gorky, the "symbolism" of Alexander Blok, the "futurism" and "modernism" of Vladimir Mayakovsky, as well as works by many other authors. We will discuss such important issues for Russian cultural history as the role of the intelligentsia in the Russian Revolution; the content and method of Russian decadence; symbolism and modernism; and the experience of imprisonment, liberation, and exile that became so important for many writers and poets.

Instructor Units Lecture
L. Eisenberg 12 TR 3:05-4:25PM

The purpose of this research seminar is to help students conceptualize, design, organize, and execute a substantial research project that embodies and extends the knowledge and skill set they have been developing as History majors at Carnegie Mellon. The identification, collection and interpretation of relevant primary source data are integral parts of this intellectual task. Students will strive to hone written and oral presentation skills, deepen their command of research methodologies and strategies, and sharpen their abilities as a constructive critic of others' research. The seminar seeks to develop these intellectual skills through a combination of in-class, student-led discussions of everyone's research-in-progress, and regular individual consultations with the instructor.

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Brockmann 6,9 T 7-9:50PM

This course is a chronological introduction to one of the world's greatest cinema traditions: German cinema. It moves from the silent cinema of the 1910s to the Weimar Republic, when German cinema represented Hollywood's greatest challenger in the international cinema world. It then addresses the cinema of Hitler's so-called "Third Reich," when German cinema dominated European movie theaters, and moves on to the cinema of divided Germany from 1949-1989, when cinema in the socialist east and cinema in the capitalist west developed in very different ways. In the final week of the semester, the course will address German cinema in the post-unification period, which has experienced a revival in popularity and interest. The two historical foci of the semester will be the Weimar Republic, the classic era of German cinema, and the era of the so-called "New German Cinema" of the 1970s and 1980s, when major German directors developed radical new approaches to cinema and critiques of Hollywood. Among the great directors focused on in the course of the semester will be Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Fritz Lang, Leni Riefenstahl, Wolfgang Staudte, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. No knowledge of the German language is required for this course. Most of the films will be in German with English subtitles. The course will be cross-listed in the departments of Modern Languages, English, and History. Students will be required to attend class, including all film screenings, to actively participate in discussion, to write a term paper on a topic related to German cinema history, and to take two midterm examinations. NOTE: The 9-unit option is for students who wish to do extra work in German. Otherwise, the 6-unit option should be chosen.

Instructor Units Lecture
S. Cullen 12 MW 11:50AM - 1:10PM

The Ethics, History and Public Policy Project Course is required for the Ethics, History and Public Policy major and is taken in the fall semester of the senior year. In this capstone course, Ethics, History and Public Policy majors carry out a collaborative research project that examines a compelling current policy issue that can be illuminated with historical research and philosophical and policy analysis for a chosen client. The students develop an original research report based on both archival and contemporary policy analysis and they present their results to their client and a review panel.

Instructor Units Lecture: Section A
T. Yao 9 TR 1:25- 2:45PM
Instructor Units Lecture: Section B (REMOTE ONLY)
Z. Sun 9 MW 11:50AM - 1:10PM

This course will introduce students to important developments in China's culture and language since the end of the nineteenth century. We will explore questions like: What is Chinese culture in the modern world? What is "modern" and what "traditional" Chinese culture? Who defines what Chinese culture is? How have education and language policies shaped Chinese cultural identities over the last century? In other words, we will talk about China's "Modernity Project." This course will allow students to look beneath the surface of cultural expressions and study the ideas and concepts that underlie China's culture today. In the first half of the course, we will explore the historical, social and political contexts in which Chinese culture became modern. In the second half, we will look at specific aspects of Chinese culture and language in the modern world. Following a brief historical overview, our focus will be on Mainland China. Students are encouraged to further explore their own special interests in a guided research project.

Instructor Units Lecture
E. Grama 12 Mondays 2:30 - 5:20PM

This seminar will introduce first-year graduate students to a few key historical concepts that have informed historical thinking and writing as it is practiced today. We will focus on some classic works of social theory to analyze how their authors had sought to identify and interrogate themes such as: the nature of modernity; the relationship between social and economic change and class; the relationship between politics and culture; the role of gender in the articulation of power relationships; the relationship between European nations and their colonies abroad, and the significance of this colonial past for the post-colonial world. We will also read recent scholarship to identify why contemporary historians found those theories both inspirational and insufficient, and how they challenged their theoretical precursors via alternative "ways of seeing" and methods of historical interpretation.

Instructor Units Lecture
W. Goldman 12 Wednesdays, 2:30 - 5:20PM

This course will examine socialist movements and ideas from the 19th century to the present. Beginning with the utopian socialists of the early 19th century, it will cover the ideas of Marx and Engels, the Paris Commune, the growth of revolutionary social democracy, the formation of the First and Second Internationals, and the Russian revolution. After the studying the success of 1917, we will examine the difficulties of building socialism in the Soviet Union, an overwhelmingly peasant country. We will then survey the post war successes of revolutionary movements in China and Cuba, the growth of anti colonial socialist movements in Africa, and the struggle for Black liberation in the United States. Exploring the ways in which socialism has been impacted by feminist, nationalist, and anti colonial ideas, we will examine their seminal texts and the debates they engendered. The course, focused on the development of broad transnational socialist movement over two centuries, will take a global perspective, emphasizing the circulation of ideas, and the development of revolutionary theory and movements in widely disparate contexts and conditions.

Instructor Units Lecture
J. Soluri 12 Thursdays, 9:05 - 11:55AM

This graduate seminar will consider how historians and other scholars are using transnational frameworks to shed new light (or not) on work and workers across cultural, ecological, and geopolitical boundaries.  We will place emphasis on thinking about work and workers in worlds that are simultaneously political and material. In so doing, we will engage with scholarly debates regarding the scope, scale, methods, and politics involved with doing border-crossing research.  The seminar will be structured to provide opportunities for participants to practice articulating their ideas in both oral and written forms, formal and less formal.  The seminar is intended to be useful to anyone interested in exploring paradigms for transnational research related to work or labor in history or other disciplines.  Key learning outcomes include(1) identifying and assessing central arguments via consideration of sources, theoretical frameworks, organization, and voice; (2) writing analytical essays of individual works and a set of related works; and (3) delivering clear oral presentations.