Department of History, June 2020
Curious about histories of the human body and its place in our daily lives? Ben Irvin’s “History of Disability in the United States” traces changing understandings of disability from the 18th century to the present. His students learn, for example, that in the Gilded Age, industrial accidents, which often resulted in amputation, gave rise to the mass manufacture and marketing of prosthetic limbs. Birth, too, has a history. Sarah Knott’s students investigate the American history of Indigenous, Black and white birth knowledge, the changing roles of midwives, obstetricians, and other health workers, and the various experiences of birth-givers past and present.
We can also introduce you to the histories of heroes who helped set the stage for the Justice League and the Avengers. Students in Leah Shopkow’s “Medieval Heroes” course explore why some heroes are forever while other past heroes disappear into time's mists. The history of heroism isn’t just about the label, though. Maria Bucur’s “Century of Women” course introduces students to women whose low-key heroism made change for good and bad, and Pedro Machado and Ke-Chin Hsia both take a look at the global phenomenon of sports heroes in soccer and baseball.
Popular music, pop culture, epidemics, war, law, the environment? We’ve got histories on those and more, and if you’re one of our majors, you could add your own history to that list with a capstone project on any topic that interests you.
Discover the history of everything . . . at IU History.