Use the prefix HIST (History) to find the most up-to-date information about history courses.
Descriptions only for Special Topics Courses and Seminars in January and Spring 2014. For a complete list of Spring 2014 courses offered by the History Department please consult the Online Bulletin.
Hist 177A: Special Topics: Teddy Roosevelt’s New York, MTWR 2:30-4:00 -- Michael Galgano [Contact Professor Galgano at Michael.Galgano@hofstra.edu for schedule as the course involves several field trips to New York City]
The focus of this class will be on the personal and professional connections of Theodore Roosevelt to the City of New York during the period between 1858, the year of his birth and 1897, the year he left the New York City Police Department to take up his new job in Washington as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Roosevelt is the only president to have been born on the island of Manhattan. Students will examine the formative years of the future 26th President in New York City, his beginnings in politics in the 1880s as a New York State assemblyman and his run for the Mayor of New York City. Students will explore the New York City of the “Gay Nineties,” when Roosevelt resurfaced and gained national attention as the city’s energetic and hard-driven policy commissioner. Several field trips into New York City will be planned, such as to the Theodore Roosevelt birthplace, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York City Police Museum and the New York Historical Society.
Hist 14S -- First Year Seminar: Vietnam Stories, MW 9:00-11:00 am, 4 sh -- Carolyn Eisenberg
The Vietnam War ripped across the youth generation of the 1960’s in a dramatic way, with powerful cultural and political consequences. It opened up fissures in our society that continue to exist, although sometimes in subterranean forms. Despite the many allusions to Vietnam, the subject is rarely taught in high schools. And those who did not live through the time cannot easily discover what it was all about. In this seminar, we will explore the Vietnam experience by focusing on the stories of individual people: US soldiers, policymakers and protesters, along with Vietnamese participants-both north and south. We will use films, novels, diaries and transcripts and consider the ways in which individual biography intersects with larger historical currents.
Hist 102 -- Investigating History, MW 9:05-11:00 am, 4 sh -- Brenda Elsey
Do you ever wonder if anything you'll do will make a difference in the course of history? Historians think about that question often. Their research frequently involves the analysis of agency, change over time, and power. In this course we will explore the relationship between what we often consider "private," and broader political and social history. Students will complete genealogies of their families. Primary source materials will include newspapers, civil records, diaries, ship logs, photographs, and oral histories. Texts may include Laurel Ulrich's, Midwife's Tale, Annette Gordon-Reed's, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, Wibke Bruhns, My Father's Country, and I, Rigoberta Menchu.
Hist 103 -- Debating History, MW 2:55-4:50, 4 sh -- Carolyn Eisenberg
Remembering Vietnam: For millions of young people, the war in Vietnam was a defining moment in American history, which profoundly shaped their personal lives. With a draft in place and troop levels reaching 550,000, it was almost impossible to ignore US policy. Vietnam became a burning issue on many college campuses, while for working class teenagers the war often became an inescapable obligation. Fifty years later, we are still living with the unrecognized legacy of that experience, while historians continue to debate the character, causes and impact of the war on American and Vietnamese society. In this course, we will examine diverse historical perspectives, using film, memoirs, tape transcripts, documents and historical texts. Is there a right way to think about these issues? And what counts as “objective” history?
Hist 177C -- Special Topics in European History: History in Print -- TR 2:20-3:45, 3 sh, Sally Charnow
Have you ever wondered what a historian takes from his or her reading of the newspaper? Who cares about newspapers in a day when you can get your news more rapidly by going online? This class will focus on print media and ask the following questions: How do we understand the relationship between the European Union and the United States. What are the issues and what are the stakes? How has the recent U.S. election been understood and experienced in Europe? What has been the impact of the "Euro Zone" recession on the U.S.? We will discuss how we read and analyze the news, how to follow a news story over a period of time, and how to discuss those stories in an historical context. We will also discuss the relationship between news literacy and citizenship, considering the role of a free press and an educated readership in a democracy.
Hist 177G 01 -- Special Topics in Global & Comparative HIstory: History of Soccer -- MW 12:50- 2:20, 3sh, Stanislao Pugliese
In collaboration with the NY Cosmos and in conjunction with a three-day international conference at Hofstra in April 2014 in anticipation of the World Cup, this course will examine the origins, evolution and contemporary significance of the world’s most popular sport. We will focus on the social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of soccer, with particular attention to customs, traditions, identity, FIFA, television and corruption, gender and sexuality, racism and violence, and what we might term “soccer semiotics.” Extensive readings, a research paper and attendance at soccer conference required; attendance at Cosmos and Hofstra soccer games for fun.
Hist 177G 02 -- Special Topics in Global History: Who is Watching: History of Surveillance -- TR 12:45-2:10, 3 sh, Susan Yohn
Most people today spend at least part of their day working on computers linked to the Internet and larger networks, answering their “smart” phones, sending emails, downloading music and video, catching up with friends on Facebook, posting their work to Google, paying for something with credit and debit cards. All of these activities leave a digital trail - for governments, businesses, and others to access -- by which we are snooped on and monitored. The Internet is only a logical extension of longer-term history focused on surveillance and the technologies developed to make our lives more convenient, “instant”, observable and controllable. This course will span many centuries to examine how we have been “identified,” “documented,” “cataloged,” and surveilled or otherwise watched. Readings will include articles and books by Jeremy Bentham, Jacob Riis, Carlo Ginzburg, Christian Parenti’s The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror. Students will have the opportunity to research and report on a related topic of their choice.
Hist 178D -- Special Topics in Latin American History: Popular Culture in Latin America -- MW 2:55-4:20, 3sh, Brenda Elsey [This course may be used by History majors to fulfill a non-western history requirement.]
Is it as important to understand Pelé as Bolívar? Can a queer feminist nun from seventeenth century Mexico change our understanding of life in the Spanish empire? Does dancing samba make a statement? These are the types of questions we will ponder in History 178D. This course explores major themes in Latin American history through popular culture. We will learn the past and present by studying practices that have provoked passionate dedication, such as soccer, tango, and cooking. We will begin studying the collision of Native American, Iberian, and African cultures that occurred with the European "discovery" of the Americas. Through food and dance, different groups expressed their distinct world views. Colonization produced new forms of cultural practices, particularly in reaction to the dominance of the Catholic Church. The course will move onto the national period with an eye to competing independence movements. Rituals and symbols constituted an important site for building national identity. Gender, race, and class fractured these identities in important ways. This course hopes to improve students' analytical skills and written expression through developing short papers, as well as build knowledge of Latin American history.
Hist 178F -- Special Topics in Comparative History: Central Asia and Russian Imperialism, TR 12:45-2:10, 3 sh, TBA [Cross listed with PSC 154B: Special Topics in Comparative Politics] [This course may be used by History majors to fulfill a non-western history requirement.]
This course examines the complex relationship between Central Asia and Russia from Tsarist Russia to the post-Soviet era. Students will examine primary, secondary and visual sources such as films and maps to focus on the tremendous political, economic, environmental, and cultural effects of Russian colonization from the 19th century through the end of the twentieth. The course will offer a survey of the geography of Central Asia and traditional economic and social life of its peoples, analyze the motives and origins of Russian imperialism, explore the impact the World Wars, Bolshevism and Stalinism on Central Asian republics and study the religious and nationalist clashes that resulted. We will conclude the course with a discussion of the issues and challenges post-Soviet Central Asia faces and future prognosis.
Hist 189A -- Seminar in Global or Comparative History: The Things Around Us: History of Material Culture -- TR 10:05-12 noon, 3 sh, Susan Yohn
This research seminar focuses on material culture or the history of the objects that surround us and examines how we can understand our history by studying those objects. Ever wondered about the history of that car you loved or the Barbie doll you played with or why electric cars are not more common? We will study material culture or the “stuff” that compose our lives. Material culture includes everything we make and use, from food and clothing, to art and buildings. Have you ever wondered what people will make of American society five hundred years from now? How would a scholar study a society if only durable objects remain? What is the story they would tell using those objects as evidence? Students will choose an object and examine that object in its historical, economic and cultural contexts. They should also be prepared to spend 6 to 8 hours outside of class doing research and writing as they prepare a 15 to 25 page research paper. [Students registering for this course must also register for Hist 009A (01), scheduled for the same time. On the portal you will be able to register for both courses even though they are in the same time slot.]
Hist 189A -- Seminar in Global or Comparative History: The History and Ontology of Genocide: Past, Present, and Future, MW 4:30-6:20, 3 sh, Johan Ahr
Genocide has, at various times, for different reasons, quite absolutely devastated populations in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Why and how did the destruction during the Third Reich (1933-45) of European Jewry, Roma, Sinti, and others, among them homosexuals, occur? And—the question here asked, with a concern for the globe as a whole (in the round)—was this holocaust singular, or unique? Our classes will mainly consist of discussion; and readings, drawn from around the world and across time, will comprise a combination of fiction and non-fiction, primary and secondary. Every student will be writing a major research paper on a topic of choice, true to the theme of the course. They might, for example, research and write about Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia, 1975-79. [Students registering for this course must also register for Hist 009C (01) crn, scheduled for the same time. On the portal you will be able to register for both courses even though they are in the same time slot.]