Check out our current course offerings
This is a partial list of courses. For the semester's complete offerings, see the Registrar's website. The IUB Course Bulletin also has full list of History Department courses past, present, and future.
How has East Asia shaped the world? How has the world shaped East Asia? From Mao Tse Dong to Pokemon, we'll explore a world in which politics, economics, society and culture interlock across continents and countries.
The world seemed to stand at the threshold of a new era at the end of World War II in 1945. This course will explore such themes and topics as the Cold War, decolonization, development, variants of capitalism across the world, globalisation, and social justice as they developed over the course of the second half of the twentieth and first decades of the twenty-first century.
Examine one of the world's greatest empires! We look at late Imperial Russia, the Russian Revolution and Civil War following the collapse of this empire in World War I; the emergence, evolution and final collapse of the Soviet Union (in 1991), and the newly emergent Russian Federation. Throughout, we combine a survey of political events at the "macro" level with a search to understand the lived experience of those people who made up this vast and diverse country.
Progress? Freedom? Disaster! Find out how so many of the things, ideas, and phenomena that we take for granted emerged or became a common sight first in Europe in the last 200 years.
Played, watched and enjoyed by millions, soccer (or football as it is known outside the US) is without doubt the most popular team sport on the planet. Yet soccer is much more than simply a sport--it reflects and is shaped by broader historical, economic, social, political and cultural trends that effect the lives of fans, their areas and nations. We'll use soccer as a lens through which to explore questions of race, gender, ethnicity, class, nationalism and empire to understand both how the beautiful game offers us an alternative way to study themes such as religious animosities, dictatorship, decolonization and industrialization, and can illuminate the many intersections between the personal and the social, and the local and the global.
Wars are common in world history, and they originate from social and political institutions. The social and cultural expectations that bring people to the battlefields shape their behavior there. These social and cultural factors often have more influence on who wins than the cleverest military leaders. We will examine the social history of wars from ancient Greece and China to the American Civil War to current wars. The course will foreground the often colorful and poignant stories of individuals who participated in war.
Cities and villages, castles , monasteries, and cathedrals--learn who lived there, what the community looked like, and what aspects of medieval life, politics, and culture they represented.
The Middle East is always in the news. Presidential candidates talk about it. Pundits with wildly different opinions tell us about it. Yet the Middle East always presents a challenge. Why is it so difficult to make sense of what happens there? Perhaps some historical background would help? Let's try together and see!
In the 1950s and 1960s a wave of dissent erupted in America against the Cold War and the traditional values it upheld. Adults led this tide of protest in the fifties, especially Alfred Kinsey and his plea for sexual tolerance. Elvis soon followed with performances that crossed the color line. The challenge truly exploded in the sixties with the albums of Bob Dylan and the younger generation's protest of the war in Vietnam. This lecture course explores the wide variety of opposition to the Cold War through the politics, films, and music(from folk to rock) of these decades.
In which parts of the world have Jews lived since the 16th century? How did they interact with their neighbors? What clothes did they wear? What food did they eat? What music did they play and listen to? What art and literature did they like and produce?
Are you interested in social justice? Do you believe education should be transformative? The “Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program” brings 15 undergraduate students together with 15 incarcerated students to collaborate in a learning environment. By opening space for communication among people walking profoundly different life paths, the program provides opportunities for all students to confront fears, explode stereotypes, present themselves and meet others openly, and generate unexpected insight. This inside-out course explores the history of prisons in the United States, focusing in particular on the period after World War II in which the prison system grew. Through reading, writing, encounter, discussion, and in collaborative projects, students will ponder the origins, growth, purpose and function of incarceration, the sources of crime, myths and realities of life in prison, and possibilities for reform and transformation. Interested IU students should contact Prof. Seigel (firstname.lastname@example.org) in October to set up an interview. For more information, see also http://www.insideoutcenter.org/
What were the roots of capitalism in American history? The nineteenth century was a century of growth and panics, factories and slave plantations, westward imperialism and global trade, unstable money and wildcat banks, railroads and telegraphs, the harnessing of steam and the discovery of oil, business law and consumer advertising, engineering innovation and environmental damage. Was capitalism savior, or curse?
Christianity is becoming a majority religion in many regions of contemporary Africa. How did this happen and how have Africans influenced Christianity in the process of adopting it? This seminar answers these questions in focusing on Christianity and Africa during the last two hundred years.
An imagined community or an infantile disease? A daily plebiscite or an inescapable destiny? A born loyalty, or a trained habit? What is "nationalism," where do we find it in global and historical context, and how does it function as an element of political, social, cultural and economic change?
Eva Perón was revered by her followers and reviled by her detractors. Although she never held any elected office, her political influence was enormous. She divided Argentines, and has continued to divide Argentines ever since her early death at age 33 in 1952. Was she a feminist before it was fashionable? Was she a genuine champion of greater social and economic justice? Did she really love the poor? And what is the continuing influence of her figure and memory within Argentina?
Discover the world of country noble estates in Imperial Russia and Soviet communal apartment living, urban and village life, food and drink, housing and furniture, work and play, family and marriage, traveling and sports. We will use photos and films to visualize Russian everyday life; memoirs and diaries to hear the voices of Russian people.
What happens when an empire declines and falls? When that empire extends from southeastern europe to the Middle East? When that empire is home to several different linguistic, ethnic, and religious communities? Can the nation-state be a remedy to the empire's problems? This course offers a background to developments in today's Middle East through a story of imperial decline, modernization, westernization, and nation-building.
As a result of wars, persecution and conflicts worldwide replacement hits all time high: 59.5 million people, every 122 human is a refugee or seeking asylum – half of them children. These numbers don’t include migrants, who are on the move due to economic hardship, hunger and global warming. Yet the problem is not new, and so we will start our course with the history of migrants and refugees in the 19th century: Then Jews, Irish, Italians and others left there homes in search for a better world, only to find the poverty of the other side of the Atlantic. We will then turn to the 20th century, to World War I, the Holocaust as a paradigmatic moment of displacement, and the introduction of national and international Human Rights legislations. We will finally arrive at the present state of refugees and migrants all over the globe, and especially the current ‘European refugee crisis’. Throughout the course we’ll discuss legislations, national and communal relief organization, and the everyday life experiences of migrants, their journeys and arrivals at their destinations.
Can Instagram friend suggestions help us understand IUB’s past? We can learn alot about the world with a smartphone, but how does that change what we learn? This class will look at the overlap between “digital” tools and “history” with three digital tools: text mining, network analysis and spatial history. We’ll look at technology in the modern world and in the world of higher education in particular. We’ll then use Indiana University–Bloomington’s history to craft a digital-history exhibit or portfolio piece. We’ll explore IUB’s rich archival collection, both physical and digital, and try to understand the promise and limitations of big-data analysis in history research.
Would you leave your family and go thousands of miles to fight people you had never met who had done you no harm in the name of God? What would you think when people from far away appeared and began attacking you in the name of God? People from Western Europe did just that during the wars we call the Crusades and people the Middle East, the Baltic, in Eastern Europe and even in Western Europe faced these new enemies. What did everyone think was going on? In an age when war in the name of God is once again commonplace, the Crusades are a useful example to think with about the connection between people's religious beliefs, their cultures, and their wars. What is a Crusade? Were the Crusades the first step in Europe's conquest of the world? Perhaps. Were crusaders deeply religious or merely religiously sanctioned freebooters? How did people who were on the receiving end (Muslims, Pagans, Orthodox Christians, “Heretics,” Political Enemies in the Middle East, North Africa, the Baltic and Prussia, Southern France, and Italy) view crusading? How important were ordinary people to crusading? We’ll consider these questions and more as you explore the Crusades in general and put together a paper and a presentation on a particular crusade or question about crusading.
Influenza and leprosy, syphilis and AIDS, breast cancer and diabetes—whether rare or pervasive, considered distant or 'close to home,' disease has frightened and shocked, shaping identities, as well as social and personal interactions. In this course, we will examine how responses to epidemics and disease, which can provide insights into the nature of affected societies, and we will begin to explore how ideas about illness, contagion, risk, danger, and death are shaped. The course will provide students with a better understanding of how cultural assumptions—in the past and today—can shape the experiences and outcomes of disease as much as knowledge produced in the laboratory.
African marketplaces, streets, taxis and homes abound with the images and sounds of popular culture--music, film, video, sports and fashion. Can fun be subversive? What is the relationship between popular culture and politics? How does popular culture change how we think about colonialism and independence? And, what kind of historical source is popular culture?
Mexico is our most populous neighbor, and Mexico and the United States have many strong cultural, economic, political, and even culinary connections. This course will introduce the major themes of Mexican social, economic, and political history. We will pay particular attention to social history, including that of women. The course ends with a look at the links between the lives of ordinary Mexicans and ordinary Americans today. We will also work on analytical and communication skills. Students will read various documents, two brief secondary books, and an oral history. We will also watch several dramatic films.
Who were the ancient Greeks? How did their civilization develop into the pioneering society that has captured the imagination of the world ever since? Beginning with the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland, we will trace the rise and fall of these Bronze Age civilizations (including the legendary Trojan War) before moving on to the rebirth of Greek culture in the following centuries. The course concludes with the Greeks' desperate struggle for independence against the might of the Persian Empire.
Does music matter? Music is everywhere in American life, but it is "just" music, a kind of entertainment, isn't it? Not necessarily. This course explores how music, partly because it is seemingly so unimportant, has played a critical role in the transformation of American society from the 1940s to the present.
Hula, sugar, the atomic bomb...why have Americans imagined the Pacific as an exotic paradise even as they have carried out terrible atrocities there? How has the Pacific been critical to the United States’ emergence as a global power? We will take three case studies—Hawai‘i, Japan, and the Philippines—to examine the problems posed by American encounters with the environments, peoples, and cultures of this region.
A bygone civilization? A dragon awoken? The rising superpower? From an old empire to a modern state, come explore how China transformed.
There’s no place like home. But what is a "home" and what did Americans who lived in various historical periods mean when they used that word? Which sorts of residences qualified as homes, which did not, and why? Who got to say what was--and what was not--a home?
How has citizenship has been gendered differently across time and space? In this course we will explore together several historical cases from a variety of places and periods; In the second part of the course, students will identify a research topic on themes relevant for this course and will write a paper that offers an original interpretation of primary sources on that topic.
Do you have a favorite empire in world history? Join this class and explore in depth one of the questions that has always interested you. Learn how to develop a research question, identify and analyze primary sources, formulate an argument, and write cogently about your favorite empire.
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