History

  • CAS HI 500: Topics in History
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies.Topic for Spring 2021: History of the Self and Selfhood. 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.
  • CAS HI 502: Drafts of History: Journalism and Historical Revisionism
    Considers episodes from U.S. history, comparing the "draft" of journalists to subsequent historical accounts. Analyzes how new evidence alters understanding of events, but also how different eras ask questions about the past, interrogate different sources, and appeal to different audiences. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Oral and/or Signed Communication.
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Social Inquiry II
  • 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
    Examines how the English Civil Wars, the Glorious Revolution, and the American Revolution altered Anglo-American political thought and changed governance practices. Writers from Milton to Hamilton and Jefferson grappled with these transformations that created modern understandings of government. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS HI 453.
  • 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
    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 546: Places of Memory: Historic Preservation Theory and Practice
    Covers key aspects of the history, theory, and practice of historic preservation. Preservation is discussed in the context of cultural history and the changing relationship between existing buildings and landscapes and attitudes toward history, memory, invented tradition, and place. Also offered as CAS AM 546 and CAS AH 546.
  • 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 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 568: The Modern Metropolis: Approaches to Urban History
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Cities such as New York, Paris, London, and Shanghai captured the worst problems and most exciting possibilities of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This course investigates how urban spaces facilitated commerce, social life, and the forging of modern identities. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • 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