History

  • CAS HI 500: Topics in History
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Topic for Fall 2021: Ten Years that Shook the World: Britain, 1938-48. This seminar explores the critical period from 1938 to 1948, from the Munich Conference to the creation of the Welfare State, "the New Jerusalem." Three topics are offered Spring 2022. Section A1: History of the Self. Considers the changing experience and description of the self and selfhood from Antiquity to the present. Readings include biography, autobiography, and works of scholarship in history and philosophy. Appropriate for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Section B1: Meaning, Memory, and History. Explores central issues in the philosophy of history, from Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche to Collingwood, Popper, and Danto. Topics include: is history a science? If so, what kind? How does it differ from tradition and memory? Does it have a meaning? Section C1: Age of Hamilton. Provides students with an understanding of the world in the aftermath of the War of the American Revolution, through the lens of one of its most iconic figures.
  • CAS HI 503: Race, Ethnicity, and Childhood in US History
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar.
    The history of childhood in US History intersects with the interdisciplinary area of childhood studies. Within that, the histories of Black children and children of ethnic minorities and historically marginalized young people is a burgeoning subfield. This course examines how identities inclusive of (and structural inequities associated with) race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and sexuality have differently affected the lives and experiences of young people in the United States from the colonial period through to the 21st century. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Historical Consciousness (HCO), Creativity/Innovation.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Creativity/Innovation
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS HI 504: The Civil War in American Memory
    From the immediate post-war years through very recent political conflicts, Americans have vigorously contested the memory of their Civil War. This course considers this question by exploring literature, film, and historical documents. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS HI 506: The Transformation of Early New England: Witches, Whalers and Warfare
    Explores how religious schisms and revival, warfare with native Americans, political revolution, and commercial development transformed New England from a Puritanical agricultural society into an urbanized, industrial society by the outbreak of the American Civil War. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
  • CAS HI 507: Three Revolutions
    The course examines how the English civil wars, the Glorious Revolution, and the American Revolution altered Anglo-American political thought and encouraged the rise of a democratic order and changed the nature of governance. Writers from Hobbes and Milton to Burke and Jefferson grappled with these transformations that created political modernity. The course situates these changes within their broader social and spiritual contextes and explores the continuation of inequality within a democratic order. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry II.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry II
  • CAS HI 514: Enlightenment and Its Critics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Explores how eighteenth-century criticisms of the Enlightenment have been taken up by twentieth-century thinkers such as Heidegger, Horkheimer, Adorno, Gadamer, and Foucault; discusses recent defenses of Enlightenment ideals of reason, critique and autonomy by Habermas and others. Also offered as CAS PO 592 and CAS PH 412.
  • CAS HI 518: Histories of Food and Society
    Introduces themes of the history of food-production, consumption, aesthetics, and ritual through specific historical examples of food and culture(s) and food diasporas of the modern era.
  • CAS HI 525: Development in Historical Perspective
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 120 or 150)
    A critical investigation of modern "development" practices and projects in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Explores the rise of development paradigms in the nineteenth century and key twentieth-century transformations; interrogates challenges to, critiques of, and reaffirmations of global development schemes. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Social Inquiry II.
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS HI 526: Poverty and Democracy: Modern India and the United States in Comparative Perspective
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).
    Through an examination of historical, empirical, and journalistic evidence, students examine the peculiar and pernicious nature of modern and contemporary poverty in the context of two large democracies, India and the United States. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Ethical Reasoning, Social Inquiry II.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS HI 533: Empire and Power: British Foreign Policy, 1782-Present
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Examines the evolution of British foreign policy over time as well as the nature of Great Power rivalry. Key themes include formulation of national diplomatic strategies, policy coordination, diplomatic vs. military considerations, alliance politics, and policy over-stretch. Also offered as CAS IR 514.
  • CAS HI 537: World War II: Causes, Course, Consequences
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior and senior standing.
    Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and 75 million ordinary and extraordinary dead. From 1939-1945, the whole world waged total war in cruel ways unknown to any history before or since. Explore the causes, course, and consequences of these events.
  • CAS HI 539: Nazis on Film
    Explores changing representations of Nazis on the silver screen, from celebrations of the "Third Reich" to post-1945 depictions of Nazis as evil. Focuses on the longing for strong leadership, pleasure at inflicting pain on enemies, fear of others, and racism. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Historical Consciousness
  • CAS HI 541: Comrades & Competitors: US and Soviet Cultural Exchange
    Many of attitudes that color US-Russia relations today come from their history of friendship and enmity in the 20th century. This seminar investigates US-Soviet culture wars, which shaped not only each society's "way of being," but also international relations.
  • CAS HI 543: The Prevention of Genocide
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one previous course in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, or consent of instructor.
    (Meets with CAS IR 437.) Examines various approaches to and challenges in prevention of genocide, including ability of existing international institutions to develop early warning systems. Evaluation of effectiveness of unilateral military action and multilateral options at the UN and regional levels to stop genocide.
  • CAS HI 549: Nationalism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Explores the origins of modern nationalism as a major force, molding identity and motivating politics. Examines the relationship between nationalism, revolution, and war, as well as the challenges presented by ethnic revivalism, ethnonational conflicts, and globalization.
  • CAS HI 550: Jews in Modern Culture
    Examines the role and impact of Jews as producers and brokers of modern culture, with focus on fields ranging from psychoanalysis to movies. Considers whether Jews' cultural activities were distinctive and, if so, how and why.
  • CAS HI 559: Wars, Peace, and Diplomacy
    Why do wars occur? What constitutes peace? How is peace maintained or lost? What are the virtues and deficiencies of diplomacy as practitioners have implemented it? How do memory, justice, and the requirements of security interact in the international arena?
  • CAS HI 560: The American Transcendentalists
    Led by Emerson, Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and others, the Transcendentalists constituted the first "counter-cultural" movement in American history. Seminar focuses on how and why they did so within the philosophical, religious, literary, antislavery, communitarian, and ecological currents they inhabited.
  • CAS HI 569: Boston Architectural and Community History Workshop
    Focuses on class readings, lectures, and research on a single neighborhood or community in Boston (or Greater Boston). Greatest emphasis is on using primary sources-- land titles and deeds, building permits, fire insurance atlases and other maps. Topic for Fall 2020: Somerville Project. Explores the architectural and urban transformation of Somerville from agricultural fields, country estates, to an area of dense urban settlement and industrial development. Explores places and sources that help assess and narrate the rich history of architectural and urban development.
  • CAS HI 575: The Birth of Modern America, 1896-1929
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of instructor. First Year Writing Seminar(e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    The political, economic, social, and cultural history of the United States in the formative years of the early twentieth century. Topics include Progressivism, World War I, immigration, modernism, the Scopes Trial, suffrage, the Harlem Renaissance, and the emergence of modern business practices. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course