Carnegie Mellon University

2019 Summer Semester

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


Instructor Units Lecture
C. Vaughn-Roberson 9 MTWRF 10:30-11:50

The American civil rights movement was a global phenomenon. Throughout the twentieth century, the fight for racial justice involved multiple areas of conflict that transcended national boundaries. The purpose of this course is to understand how global events and crises influenced the ways in which activists understood political power. How did civil rights activists pioneer a global identity for American blacks and create solidarities with oppressed people worldwide, and how did these solidarities in turn influence activism at home? Answering these questions will require us to analyze various ideologies and political movements and their impact on anti-racist activism within the United States. World historical events, and their impact on the civil rights movement, will cover the 1917 Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascist Europe, the Second World War, the United Nations, the Cold War, and today’s struggle for racial justice. By examining these issues, this class will shed light on the dynamic geo-political and socio-economic conditions that shaped the civil rights movement as well as today’s activism.



Instructor Units Lecture
S. Alfonso-Wells 9 MTWRF 12:00-1:20

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 the anthropologist's relationship 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.



Instructor Units Lecture
N. Kats 9 MTWRF 1:30-2:50

This is a survey art history course focusing on historically significant forms of art and architecture in Western Civilization from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The course fosters a holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of cultures. Students will critically analyze works of art within diverse historical and cultural contexts, such as politics, religion, patronage, gender, and ethnicity. They will learn about the purpose and function of art and major forms of artistic expression, including architecture, sculpture, painting and other media from across a variety of cultures. Exploration of human achievements in art will help to develop students' ability to clearly articulate in verbal and written forms relation to cultural history.



Instructor Units Lecture
N. Slate 9 MWF 12:00-1:20

If you wanted to change the world, who would you ask for guidance? Mahatma Gandhi? Rachel Carson? Nelson Mandela? In this interdisciplinary course, we will examine the history of efforts to create sustainable social change. Through a series of targeted case studies, we will examine the successes and failures of notable leaders, past and present, who strove to address social problems nonviolently and to create lasting improvements in fields such as education, healthcare, and human rights.  In keeping with the example of the people we will be studying, we will bring our questions and our findings out of the classroom through a variety of creative, student-driven experiments in sustainable social change.