History

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  • CAS HI 101: The Dawn of Europe: Antiquity to the Renaissance
    Ancient and medieval Europe was a world of empires, kingdoms, and religious factions in conflict with each other. This course explores the ideologies, institutions, and texts that shaped these civilizations and continue to hold meaning in the modern world.
  • CAS HI 102: The Emergence of Modern Europe: Renaissance to the Present
    What is Europe? This course explores the emergence of Europe as an idea and place. Draws on literature and art from Machiavelli to Russian ballet to explain Europe's changing meaning; focuses on nation- and state-building to explain Europe's shifting boundaries.
  • CAS HI 151: The Emerging United States to 1865
    Explores how the United States, at first only a series of borderland outposts, became a sprawling national republic. Investigates factors that brought Americans together and those that tore them apart, as they struggled passionately over racial, religious, and sectional values.
  • CAS HI 152: The United States since 1865
    After the Civil War, Americans created a new urbanizing and industrializing landscape, flush with immigrants, growing class conflict, and racial divisions. This course explores how, through times of prosperity, depression, and war, Americans transformed the United States into one of the world's leading nations.
  • CAS HI 175: World History to 1500
    Explores historical and environmental factors influencing how cultures take shape and impact each other. Examines early global connections and conflicts between people of different continents as well as between humans, other species, the natural environment, and planet as a whole.
  • CAS HI 176: World History after 1500
    Examines the religious encounters, economic rivalries, and military battles produced by European imperialism in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia since 1500. Analyzes how European colonialism came to dominate the world and nationalist movements succeeded in gaining independence.
  • CAS HI 190: History of Boston: Community and Conflict
    Students work with centuries-old objects, manuscripts, letters, and diaries in reconstructing Boston's past. The course covers witchcraft in America, immigration, and race in depth, with out-of-class visits to museums, churches, and neighborhoods in the city.
  • CAS HI 191: What Is Europe?
    Explores key moments in history when cultural contact prompted Europeans to reconsider how they defined themselves culturally and geographically. Lectures and discussions are combined with trips to local museums/archives to analyze the material remains of this process of self-definition.
  • CAS HI 200: The Historian's Craft
    Required workshop for majors, normally taken in the sophomore year. Gives students the opportunity to analyze original sources and engage with leading works of historical scholarship. Explores how historians reconstruct and interpret the past using creativity, deduction, and contextual analysis.
  • CAS HI 201: History of Medieval Europe
    Traces the evolution of medieval civilization from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. Emphasizes three main themes: the political and social development of western Europe, the evolution of Latin Christianity, and the role of popular culture. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS HI 203.
  • CAS HI 203: Magic, Science, and Religion
    Boundaries and relationships between magic, science, and religion from late antiquity through the European Enlightenment. Topics include transformation of pagan traditions, distinctions between learned and popular traditions, Scientific Revolution, and changing assumptions about God and Nature. Also offered as CAS RN 242.
  • CAS HI 204: History of the Crusades
    The origin and development of the Crusade movement in Western Christendom: the first four Crusades, their cause and results; crusader finance, preaching, and military recruitment; changing focus of Crusade movements from the Holy Land to other areas.
  • CAS HI 207: Honor-Shame: Middle Ages, Modern World
    Considers the dynamics of "honor-shame" cultures generally, then examines their role in the European Middle Ages and the contemporary world. Attempts to understand how other cultures can emphasize significantly different values and social interactions from Western ones.
  • CAS HI 208: Renaissance Europe
    The main political, socioeconomic, intellectual, and artistic currents in Italy (c. 1350-1530) and northwestern Europe (c. 1500-1560); emphasis on leading thinkers (Petrarch, Bruni, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, and Montaigne) as creators of the modern Western mind.
  • CAS HI 209: The Reformation: Religious Conflict in Early Modern Europe
    Examines religious change in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, particularly the origins and causes of the Protestant Reformation, the parallel Catholic Reformation, and the consequent military conflicts in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Also offered as CAS RN 310.
  • CAS HI 210: Europe between Renaissance and Revolution
    Surveys the key movements that transformed European culture, politics, and intellectual life between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries: the Renaissance, Protestant and Catholic Reformations, new age of science and exploration, absolutism and constitutional monarchy, Enlightenment, and French Revolution.
  • CAS HI 214: History of Piracy
    Examines piracy in European history from ancient time to the present, focusing on its economic and social causes, and its consequences. Addresses too the modern permutations of piracy as a form of social protest and a technique of terrorism.
  • CAS HI 215: The European Enlightenment
    How Europe became modern. The rise of science, critique of religion, and struggle for rights. The public sphere emerges: newspapers, Freemasons, coffee, salons, smut. The invention of a cosmopolitan republic of letters; Voltaire, Diderot, Kant, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin. Also offered as CAS PO 393.
  • CAS HI 216: The Second Sex in European History
    Until recently, most people believed women a "second sex," inferior to men in mind and body. Exploring gender politics and women's lives from the Middle Ages to the present, this course charts a long struggle for equal rights and opportunities.
  • CAS HI 218: Power and Authority in Europe since World War I
    Explores the breakdown of tradition authority, the rise of authoritarianism, and the triumph of democracy in twentieth-century Europe. Examines changing notions of power and legitimacy through major events, including communist revolutions, fascist takeovers, wartime occupations, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.