HIS History Courses
Undergraduate seminar that focuses on specific ideas, questions, phenomena or controversies, taught by a regular Faculty member deeply engaged in the discipline. Open only to newly admitted first year students. It may serve as a distribution requirement course; see page 40.
An analysis of the development of the international system, from 1648 to 1945, which highlights the role of war as an instrument of national policy, as a determinant of the system of states and as a threat to international society.
The events since 1600, the consequences of which continue to resonate through primary documents, historical additional reconstructions, students are exposed to the processes by which the past is given meaning. Students are encouraged to be aware of the impact of events and be sensitive to the inter-connectedness of the past.
North and South America and the Caribbean from Columbus to the American Revolution: aboriginal cultures, European exploration, conquest and settlement, the enslavement of Africans, the ecological impact of colonization.
This course examines how various histories of East Asia can be written. Topics as varied as Chinese uses of New World silver in the 17th century, the shifting fortunes of Korean shamanism, and the Tokyo War Crime Trials are used to ask questions about Eurocentrism.
The shape of traditional society; the forces at work on the social, political, economic, cultural and intellectual structures of Western Europe since the high Middle Ages: the structure of Traditional Society; the First Period of Challenges, 1350-1650; the Second Period of Challenges, 1650-1815; Confidence, Stability and Progress, 1815-1914; the Collapse of the Old Order and the Condition of Modern Europe, 1914-1945.
This course is intended to make students better acquainted with some key political ideas and to see how these ideas have been applied and misapplied in the real world of politics. Political arguments and techniques of political persuasion are assessed. (Given by the Departments of Political Science and History)
The history of Ukraine from earliest times to the present. Economic, political, and cultural movements; Kievan Rus’, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Cossack state, national revival, twentieth century statehood, and unification. (Given by the Departments of History and Political Science)
Jewish history from the rise of Islam until the 17th century: demography, self-government, messianic movements, and economic activity. Introduction to modern historiography.
A survey of Jewish history in Europe and North America since 1648: the origins of Jewish modernity; emancipation; the Jewish Enlightenment; Reform Judaism; anti-semitism and Jewish responses; Zionism; the decline of East European Jewry and the rise of North American Jewry; the Holocaust.
Economic, political, religious, and educational ideas and institutions of the Middle Ages, from the late Roman period to the fifteenth century.
The nature of European imperialism; expansion and development of the British Empire; Imperial strategy; the impact of war and nationalism; thoughts on the Commonwealth.
An introduction to the history of early modern England with reference to politics, religion and social structure.
An introduction to the history of modern England with emphasis on the search for identity with reference to the nation, the crown, class, gender, age, political parties, race and ethnicity.
An introduction to modern European history from Napoleon to the outbreak of World War I. Important political, economic, social, and intellectual changes in France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and other countries are discussed: revolution of 1848, Italian and German unification, racism and imperialism, the evolution of science, art, and culture, labour protest, and the coming of war.
The evolution of European politics, culture, and society from 1914: the two world wars, Fascism and Nazism, the post-1945 reconstruction and the movement towards European integration.
The political, social, economic, and intellectual history of continental Europe. The Renaissance, the Reformation, Counter-reformation, growth of the territorial monarchies, the religious wars.
The political, social, economic, and intellectual history of continental Europe. Development of royal absolutism, social change and the crisis of the ancient regime, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic era.
An introductory survey tracing women’s participation in the political, economic, intellectual, and social history of Europe from the High Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century.
This course provides a general overview of the ABC relationship over the course of the 20th century. Topics such as World War I, The Battle of the League of Nations, interwar diplomacy, reactions to fascism in the 1930s, World War II, the origins of the Cold War, atomic diplomacy, jultilateral trade, Korea and Vietnam, detente, and the end of the Cold War are dealt with.
This course is an introductory survey that examines the political, social, and cultural developments that shaped the Russian empire from the settlement of Kiev in the 9th century to the collapse of the Romanov dynasty in 1917.
The Polish, Czech, and Hungarian background; the Balkans in the late medieval and early modern periods. Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-reformation, decline and national awakening to the beginning of the 19th century. Partitioned Poland, nationalism in the 19th century; World War I, Peace Settlement, interwar years and the Communist period.
An introductory survey of Canadian History since the 16th century with extra focus on major themes and problems.
A survey of the economic, social, cultural, and political history of the United States from the colonial era to present times.
A broad overview of the history of China from earliest times to the present. The emphasis is on how the meaning of China and the Chinese people has changed through history.
Political, military, social, economic, and intellectual history of Japan from beginning of Tokugawa period (1603) to the present. Emphasis on the long term modernization and democratization of Japan, and passage through imperialism and militarism to peace.
An introductory survey addressing major themes in the history of South Asia, examining South Asian political economy, social history, colonial power relations and the production of culture. Emphasis is on the period after 1750, particularly the study of colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonial citizenship and modernity.
The evolution of Spanish and Portuguese America from pre-Columbian civilizations to the wars of independence.
A survey of Latin American history from the wars of independence to the present day.
An exploration of changes in the structure of Caribbean society beginning in 1492, including European contact, the conquest of native peoples, the emergence of large plantations, the impact of slavery, patterns of resistance and revolt and the changes brought about by emancipation.
An introduction to the methodological and epistemological issues of African history-that is to say, questions about how and what we know about the African past are examined. Particular attention is paid to the differences in academic understanding of African history and African perceptions of the past. Topics include theories of diffusion, the importance of oral sources, and the interpretation of myths.
Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. See page 40 for details.
This course treats the political, social, and religious history of Spain and its empire ca.1450-1714, including the history of colonial Latin America.
The course treats contact and conflict between Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the premodern Mediterranean world. Within the framework of broad political and economic developments, the course explores a range of topics, including holy war, slavery, religious polemics, colonialism, the commerce in goods and ideas, and ethnic relations.
19th and 20th Century Caribbean
Some of the main themes in English political, social, religious and intellectual history in the 17th century: the origins, character, and consequences of the English Civil War, the nature and effects of social change, and the changing role of religious forces in society.
The political, intellectual, and social history of Italy from the French Revolution to the establishment of the Republic. Topics include the old regime, the revolution of 1848, unification, the role of the church, Fascism, and World War II.
Canadian international affairs in a broader context. Anglo-American as well as Canadian-American relations; the European background to questions such as the League of Nations, appeasement and rearmament, which directly affected Canada without this country being consulted.
The peopling of Canada by immigrant groups from the 1660s tot he 1970s. Immigration and multiculturalism policies; migration and settlement; ethnic communities; relations with the host society.
A general survey tracing the political, social, and cultural development of a distinct society in Quebec and the rise of self-conscious French-speaking communities elsewhere in Canada.
The rise of advertising as an economic, moral, and cultural force in the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention to advertising as a form of communication, the role of the mass media, stereotyping and the culture of consumption. Majority of course material deals with the experiences of the United States and Canada, focusing on the period after 1945.
Political, social, and international developments in Germany from 1900 to the 1960s. Topics include German nationalism, the path to war in 1914, hyper-inflation, Weimar culture, the Nazi seizure of power, everyday life in the Third Reich, the Holocaust, the two Germanies after 1949, the Economic Miracle, and student unrest in the 1960s. A number of films will be shown.
A survey of major themes in the history of change in the Canadian environment from the 15th century to the present which include exploration, resource exploitation, settlement, industrialism, conservation and modern ecology.
The development of foreign policy in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from the late 19th to the end of the 20th century in comparative perspective. Focus is on the international aspect of nation-building and nationalism, tracing the emergence of the respective national identities as they moved beyond their British Empire colonial status to become fully independent states.
Empire and reconstruction of society in the early Middle Ages, with emphasis on the Christian church, literate culture, and social institutions. The focus is Western Europe, but Islam and the Byzantine Empire are not disregarded.
An examination of the emergence of a mature industrial society in the United States from the end of reconstruction to the 1907 financial panic, focusing on the impact of the newly emergent industrial organization on labour, farmers, and consumers and the new political system.
Chronological survey of the history of medieval Europe from 1100 to approximately 1450. The three main topics are: the formation of the modern states, the impact of urban development, and the evolution of spirituality.
Reflecting on the life cycle and rites of passage in the medieval period gives the opportunity to study the daily lives of peasants, nobles, monks, nuns, and burghers, and to observe from an interesting angle the differences between female and male life experiences.
Explores the impact of scientific ideas and new technologies on the development of modern culture and on notions of progress since 1800. Topics include Romantic science, degeneration, new media, knowledge and power, and are explored through scientific and literary texts and diverse secondary sources.
The history of Imperial Russia from Peter I to 1917. The development of its political institutions, social and economic structures, cultural and intellectual values. Emphasis on the relations of society and the state and among the various social groups of the Empire.
An examination of political, social and economic developments in Chinese history from 1800 to the present day. Main topics are the decline of the Imperial order and the challenge of Western imperialism; the Republican period; the rise of the Communist movement; the People’s Republic of China.
The history of the Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 1900 to the present day, with emphasis on the emergence of independent Baltic states, World War II, communist era, the Baltic Revolution, the restoration of independence and European integration.
The changing nature of crime and criminal justice in early-modern England; the emergence of modern forms of policing, trial and punishment.
The diplomatic, economic and military activities of Russia, Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain and the U.S. vis a vis Central Europe. Russian and German expansion, partitions of Poland, disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, the Napoleonic and World Wars, political systems created in Vienna, Versailles and Yalta, the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet outer empire.
This course explores Russian culture - art, architecture, film and literature - from 1917 to the post-Soviet present. Readings and screenings trace the relation between culture, history, and revolution from the Russian Avant-Garde and proletarian culture to socialist realism, and from Krushchev’s thaw to examples of Soviet “postmodernism”.
Major themes in late seventeenth and eighteenth century British history with a thematic focus on intellectual, cultural and social developments. Topics include the English “urban renaissance”, the birth of a consumer society, the Scottish Enlightenment and the early stages of the British industrialisation.
German state policy towards the Jews in the context of racist ideology, bureaucratic structures, and varying conditions in German-occupied Europe. Second Term considers responses of Jews, European populations and governments, the Allies, churches, and political movements.
Major aspects of English history from the end of the 18th century to the death of Queen Victoria: the Industrial Revolution, the rise of parliamentary democracy, the role of social class, the development of modern cities, the emergence of the modern state, Victorian religion, the Victorian family, the role of aristocracy in an industrialized society.
The comparative intellectual, cultural and social history of western Europe with particular focus on France, England, Scotland and Germany. Examines the impact of Enlightenment ideas on European attitudes to race, gender, politics, economics and religion through the study of the press, the salons, voluntary bodies and consumer culture.
The great figures and movements in modern intellectual history viewed in their historical context: Condorcet, de Maistre, Comte, Durkheim, Kant, Hegel, Ranke, Weber, Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud, etc.
An introduction to the historical origins and evolution of modern intelligence services. Topics to be studied include: intelligence in wartime; technological change; intelligence failures; covert operations; counter-espionage; the future of spying. The impact of the popular culture, both in fiction and film is also examined.
An examination of the conduct and consequence of international politics in an atomic/nuclear age when the stakes of the “Great Game” were not just the fates of states and nations, but the survival of humanity itself. The diplomatic, strategic and economic aspects of international relations will all receive appropriate elucidation.
This course is designed to further students’ knowledge of films’ relationship to the events they depict and their undeniable power as representational systems to render history effectively. This will necessarily entail both close examination of the formal systems film rely upon and an understanding of the distinction between fictional and non-fictional forms in film.
Survey of ideas behind major problems of Japanese history since 1600. Confucianism and National Studies in the Tokugawa period, 19th century westernization, 20th century nationalistic reaction, democratic and secular thought since 1945.
The history of Chinese foreign relations from 1842 to the present day, with emphasis on the foreign relations of the People’s Republic since 1949. Topics include: imperialism in China, Sino-Soviet relations; the Deng era rapprochement with the West; contemporary issues such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, regional security.
Changing concepts of state authority, attitudes toward religion, emigration, the study of popular culture, regional differentiation and economies, social structure and politics, nationalism.
Political, social, economic, and cultural history of France. Stress is placed on modern historiographical trends.
How childrearing has altered across the ages, whether the couple is held together by “romance” or “property”, and how the family is connected to the outside community. Changes in the size of families, in the composition of the household, and in the roles of women as mothers and wives. Material is included from both North America and Europe, and ranges from the 17th century to the present.
A survey of the history of Twentieth-Century Russia. The social, economic, and political development of Twentieth-Century Russia, with an emphasis on the Russian Revolution and Stalinism. Stress is placed on modern historiographical issues.
This course addresses issues of gender and Jewish culture from a historical perspective. Covering Jewish societies from early modern Europe to contemporary America, we examine women’s and men’s positions in religious practice and Jewish life. Topics include: the Jewish family, the synagogue, conversion, and Jewish women’s religious experiences.
Social and political history of Poland from the 10th to the 20th century. Analysis of the political history in a broader, central European context; consequences of Christianization of medieval Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian union; Sarmatian culture, Antemurale, Polish Messianism and Cordon sanitaire.
An investigation of how ideas of masculinity and gender roles shaped the exercise of private and public power in early modern Europe.
Crime and criminal justice in England in the industrial age; the relationship of crime, society, and economy.
Origins of Jewish nationalism in 19th-century Europe; creation of the Zionist political movement; varieties of Zionist ideology; Zionist diplomatic and state-building activity; conflict with the Palestinian Arabs; the establishment of the state and its development since 1948.
A social history of the 15th and 16th centuries set against the cultural and political background. Emphasis on changes in customs and living conditions resulting from economic, legal, intellectual, and religious developments of the period.
Survey of the development of Rupert’s Land and the Pacific Northwest to 1885. The focus is on aboriginal-white relations, the growth of fur trade society, the beginnings of settlement and the region’s entry into Confederation.
The role of nationalism, race and ethnicity, class conflict and ideologies in the recent development of Caribbean societies; Europe’s replacement by the United States as the dominant imperial power in the Caribbean; how this mixture of regional and international pressures has led to widely differing political systems and traditions.
This course traces the earliest known arrival of people of African descent
in Canada from the early seventeenth century to the time of their more
recent postwar immigration trends. Using socio-historical and multidisciplinary
approaches, setttlement, community and institutional building and survival
will be examined within the framework of other Canadian historical developments.
An examination of cultural, political and economic themes in Canada’s history since 1900.
The history of the Hanseatic League in medieval Europe from the late 12th to the late 16th century, with emphasis on the organization of the German Hansa, maritime activities, Hanseatic trade, and daily life of the Hanseatic merchants in Western and Eastern Europe
The making of the Ontario community from the time of the initial European contacts with the First Peoples to Confederation in 1867. Exploration of race relations; the Ontario origins of Canada’s Conservative and Liberal parties; ethnic clashes and accommodations; imperial policies vs. colonial realities; women’s role on the pioneer farm; and the growth of the education system.
The apparatus, the character, and the significance of an increasing volume of images, in particular of the body, since 1800 in Europe and North America. Introduction to concerns of cultural history: power and knowledge; self and identity; gender and sexuality; class, age, and race; and the pursuit of pleasure.
Algonkian and Iroquoian history from the eve of European contact to the present in the Great Lakes region of today’s Canada and the United States. Algonkian and Iroquoian societies in the 16th century, change over time, material culture, and inter-cultural relations among natives and between natives and Euroamericans.
A survey of the economic, social, political, and cultural history of black America from Reconstruction until recent times. Among the central issues dealt with are: segregation and disfranchisement; the Great Migration; the rise of the ghetto; the Civil Rights Movement; emergence of an “underclass.”
Examines the evolution of 17th- and 18th-century American society as Europeans strove to conquer a new environment and establish communities. As we examine the development of regional economies, race, gender, labor systems, production and consumption, we begin to understand the origins of the American society as we know it today.
A survey and analysis of the political, economic, and social institutions and
foreign policy commitments of the United States from 1890-1992.
This course examines the role of cities and urban culture in the development
of the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In the first
term we examine major themes in American urban history. In the second
term we focus our attention on New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
This course looks at the early origins of American consumerism. It begins with 17th-century England and the economic imperatives within the Atlantic World, then traces the changing attitudes of 18th-century Americans towards consumer goods, fashion and style that led to the mass consumption of the 19th century.
An examination of popular culture and its relationship to society during the first eighty years of the 20th century. By examining popular music, literature, radio, movies, sports, television, and other leisure activities, the course analyzes the manner by which groups such as blacks, ethnics, young people, and women used new means of communication to create a new popular culture in America.
A survey of one of the most turbulent decades in American history. Examines the political, social, economic and cultural revolutions that transformed the face of America.
Examines the social, cultural, political and economic features of the American colonies and analyses the forces leading to Revolution and Independence. The impact of the Revolution on domestic and public life of both men and women, and on African-American and aboriginal peoples are explored.
The political, social, and economic history of China from the period of political and economic reorganization in the Song dynasty to the final glory of the imperial order down to the end of the 18th century and its decay in the 19th.
Covers the genesis and growth of Indian classical civilization, Indus Valley, Vedic age, Buddhist age, mauryas, and Gupta empire. The focus is on ancient Indian political, social, and economic ideas and institutions.
Hindu and Muslim historiography; military organization; the city; aristocracy and court life, religious syncretism, militant sects (Sikhism).
Major themes in the history of African women. Themes include: sources and methodologies of studying African women, cultural construction of gender, changing modes of production, women and state formation, ideology and social control, education, law, race, class and gender, female resistance to colonial rule and African womanisms versus Western feminisms.
Early Canadian history (ca. 1500-1800), emphasizing colonization, Native peoples of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes; establishment of French and British colonies; interaction of natives and European colonizers.
Social and political history of Muslims of South Asia since A.D. 712. The growth of Muslim community, conversion, social stratification, and social structure; mediaeval Muslim legacy in administration, art, literature, and religion. Muslim identity, nationalism, and “Islamic modernism” as reflected in the writings of intellectuals such as Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Iqbal, Jinnah, Abul-Kalam Azad, Mawdudi, and Parwiz.
The economic, political and social history of Ontario from the creation of the province in 1867 to the demise of the Peterson government in 1990. Special attention is paid to federal/provincial relations; northern development; political leadership; and immigrant life.
Developments in French politics, cultures and society from the Enlightenment to modern times.
In-depth examination of historical issues. Content in any given year depends on instructor. See Undergraduate Handbook or History website for more details.
This course examines how Latin America and Latin Americans responded to the American, French, Haitian, Latin American, and industrial revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
An examination of the role of slavery in the development of the American South from the early colonial period through the Civil War. Topics include: the origins of slavery, the emergence of a plantation economy, the rise of a slaveholding elite, the structure of the slave community, and the origins of the war.
The history of South Asian migration with particular emphasis on 20th-century immigration to North America and the establishment of South Asian Diaspora Society in Canada: push and pull factors, transnationality, culture transfer, sojourning and settling, race, class gender issues, adaptation and defence of tradition.
An in-depth examination of historical issues. Content in any given year depends on instructor. See Undergraduate Handbook.
The course examines the major economic and political transitions that have occured in Africa form the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the era of structural development. The interaction between the internal dynamics of African history and external forces is examined and different regions of Africa compared.
An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. See page 40 for details.
For details, consult the Department of History.
This course covers international relations from World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Topics include the breakdown of the wartime alliance, Soviet predominance in eastern Europe, the Western response, NATO, atomic weaponry.
Explores the changing worlds of native peoples in Latin America from
the pre-Columbian period through to the late eighteenth century. Discussions
focus upon the ways in which complex Indian cultures transformed and were
forged in the colonial Spanish and Portuguese Americas through the interactions
of Amerindians with others.
The course focuses on aspects of Jewish-Christian relations ca.300-1600, such as royal and ecclesiastical Jewish policies; religious polemics; intellectual collaboration; social and economic interaction; anti-Judaism and religious violence. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
This seminar interdisciplinary and studies past environmental change in North America. Topics include: theory and historiography; the pre-European environment; contact; resource development; settlement, industrial urban environments; ideas about nature in religion, literature and North American culture; conservation and the modern environmental movement. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
A course on Canadian external relations since 1945. Topics include Canada and the Cold War, the Korean War, the Suez crisis and the war in Vietnam, membership in international organizations, and bilateral relations with other countries. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
A critical exploration of the history of the concept “race” in modern science, with particular attention to its intersection with changing notions of sex and the history of anti-racist arguments. Focuses on the United States context, though not exclusively.
Historiographical controversies and the latest empirical findings concerning social conflict and political mobilization under Bismarck and Wilhelm II. Problems raised by competing schools of interpretation include definitions of the authoritarian state, bourgeois hegemony, localism and regionalism, radical nationalism, workers’ culture, and gender relations. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Relations between blacks and whites in the United States from the colonial period to recent times with emphasis on slavery.
Reading of Balthasar Russow’s Chronicle of the Province of Livonia (1584) and discussion of Danish, Swedish, German, Polish and Russian apsirations for hegemony in the Baltic Sea region. Political and social history of the Livonian Wars (1558-1583); everyday life history of the Baltic people in Early Modern Eastern and Northern European context. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
A study of critical moments and problems in the French-English relationship with emphasis on the period since Confederation. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
An integration of current historiographical approaches to the Third Reich with
a close reading of primary documents in English. The focus is on the Nazi
regime as something less than a totalitarian state. Attention is given
to non-conformity and other features of “everyday life” under the Nazis.
Investigates the modern concept of the nation and its connections to
the idea of collective memory in twentieth-century Europe. Through reading
and discussing seminal works on nationalism and national memory, we will
discuss the connections between modern notions of nation and practices
A critical investigation of the idea of globalization through the comparison of the late imperial period (ca. 1850-1900) and our own era. Evaluates theories of globalization mostly by analyzing the role of scientific and technological developments in the production of global networks of various kinds (eg., capital, people, information).
Focus is on the history of women and systems of gender in Russia and the Soviet Union. Themes include gender and authority during the age of empresses; pre-revolutionary radical movements; the impact 1917 Revolution and its impact on women’s lives; the resurrection of conservative gender conventions during Stalin’s regime; the experience of women during perestroika.
The evolution of the tastes, patterns of consumption, and leisure products
which together defined the affluent lifestyle that matured in the postwar
era. Attention to the effects of technology; gender stereotypes; how people
used the mass media; the genres of advertising, mass entertainment, and
sports; fads, fashions, and heroes. Focus on the period after 1945.
Economics, history, and political science applied to relations with the communist world, Europe, francophonie; food, resources, energy; trade, monetary policy, immigration, the new international economic order; human rights, law of the sea, nuclear proliferation, United Nations participation. (Given by the Departments of Economics, History, and Political Science)
This course explores modernist architecture, theatre, film and photography
in Germany from the turn of the twentieth century to the 1950s, looking
at how the new cultural forms created during the Weimar Republic were
used and transformed during the National Socialist period. Topics include
industrial culture, the relationship between art and technology, mass
culture and spectacle, and ideas of national and racial community.
Evaluation of the nature of foreign policy negotiation and decision-making from the perspective of the practitioner. Case studies selected from major episodes in the practice of diplomacy after 1945. Particular attention paid to the evolution and impact of Canadian institutions and the role of personalities. (Given by the Departments of History and Political Science)
A seminar on the history of Soviet Russia in its formative years, 1917 to 1939. The revolutions of 1917, the civil war and war communism, NEP Russia, the Stalin revolution, the purges, and the “great retreat” are explored. Emphasis is on issues, interpretations and historiography, problems of study, and periodization. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
A comparative examination of the politics and culture of collaboration in British India, Japanese-occupied China, and Vichy France.
Introduces students to some of the main issues in the new field of the social history of medicine. Readings from the secondary historical literature are distributed and discussed in class, covering such topics as the history of the doctor-patient relationship, changes in physicians’ social status, changing attitudes towards the body, and the history of obstetrics and gynaecology. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
This seminar explores the social function and meaning of violence in medieval society, and the development of rituals and institutions to control violence. Among the topics treated: Germanic blood feud, aristocratic violence and chivalry, criminal justice systems, violence against minorities, and violence and gender. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
A look at some basic problems of historical study, approached by means of an analysis of the work of a number of historians and philosophers of history, representing different schools of thought and time periods from ancient times to the present.
An analysis of the writings of historians in order to understand their treatment of subject matter, methods, modes of thought, discourse, and explanatory styles. The historians we examine come mostly from 20th-century North America and Europe, along with a few from other cultures and earlier times.
The “Golden Legend” or Readings on the Saints, compiled by Jacobus de Voragine C. 1260, serves as the basis for a seminar on the relation of history and legend as understood in the High Middle Ages.
The first goal of this seminar is to help students read the sources with a more critical eye, especially narrative sources (Lives of Saints) and normative sources (rules and customaries). The second goal is to study the evolution of the monastic ideal from its origin to the 12th century. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Examines the historiography, theories and trappings of fascist movements and regimes. Special attention is afforded to a number of case studies. Regional focuses include: Germany, France, Italy and Eastern Europe. The course deciphers the political, cultural and social dimensions of fascism through definitions and origins of fascism; fascism and xenophobia; fascism and gender; fascism and empire; and fascist aesthetics and literature.
Readings and discussions in social and cultural historians dealing with dissident sexualities in the Christian West from the 16th century to the present.
The course looks at the issues of “first-wave” feminism by comparing experiences of women in Canada, the United States and Britain. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The students define together with the professor eight different topics (e.g. relics, masculinity, leprosy, clothes, recluses, peasants’ houses, gynecology and the peace of God). Each topic is approached through a class discussion, on the basis of a common corpus of secondary sources, plus presentations by the students.
To explore the history of Polish Jews from the Partitions of Poland to the present time, concentrating on the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries: situation of Polish Jews in Galicia; Congress Kingdom of Poland; Prussian-occupied Poland before 1914; during World War II; and post-war Poland. Focus on an analysis of primary sources. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The origin of Rus’, international trade, the impact of nomadic peoples, the introduction of Christianity, the economic system an the problem of feudalism, the political structure and the dilemma of princely succession; literature and architecture; the displacement of political power centres and depopulation, the preservation of the Kievan heritage. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Examines status of minority peoples in Europe, using specific case studies to compare similarities and differences in how these minorities function in states with differing political systems and ideologies. The evolution of specific minorities focuses on questions of language, religion, historical ideology, legal status, assimilation, and political goals. (Given by the Departments of Political Science and History)
The impact of the Cold War on life in the West through a study of selected popular culture themes and modes of production that helped shape the era. Four themes include “Living with the Bomb,” “Living with the National Security State,” “Living with Spies,” and “Women Living with the Cold War.”
A seminar in which students explore a few of the important issues arising from the history and historiography of Stuart England. Students locate the political narrative in its social and economic context and as a product of subsequent historiographical development.
Focusing on the institution of the inquisition, this seminar explores the response of ecclesiastical and secular authorities to religious heterodoxy. Among the groups prosecuted by the inquisition discussed: Cathar heretics in France, crypto-Jews, and crypto-Muslims in Spain, and witches in Italy.
A seminar on the history of women in Russia and the Soviet Union from the reform era to the present. The purpose is to assess the impact of socio-economic structures, ideology, and political developments on the changing lives of women in Russia/USSR. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Analyzes the religious, social and psychological roots of antisemitism and traces its development in Europe from the Middle Ages through the early twentieth century. The course compares and contrasts antisemitism and other forms of prejudice and examines Jewish-Gentile relations in terms of minority-majority relations throughout the continent.
Developments in popular/lay/local religion as expressed in a variety of cultural, political, and social forms from 1400-1600; the relation of these forms to both Catholic and Protestant institutional churches. Impact of Renaissance humanism on notions of kinship, order, community, perfection.
An examination of American history from the beginning of European settlement in the 17th century until the industrial revolution at the beginning of the 19th century. Emphasis will be on the social, cultural and economic history, including such topics as cultural contact, labor, material culture, gender, race, urbanization and industrialization.
What is a nation? Are nations ancient or modern, unchanging or malleable? Do nations create states, or does the state create the nation? This course seeks to answer these questions through an examination of nationalism, primarily in Europe, from the 1700’s through the present.
The course examines the relationship between gender and the experience of slavery and emancipating several Atlantic world societies from the 17th-19th centuries. Areas to be covered are the Caribbean, Brazil, the U.S. South, West and South Africa and Western Europe.
Studies in the culture and controls of rural and urban societies during the Enlightenment with special emphasis on southern Europe.
The role of the intelligentsia in East European national revivals; the ethnographic and literary revival; the language question; the press and cultural organizations; education; religion; and political movements. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
History of Soviet cinema from the 1920s to the present. Emphasis on theorist-filmmakers of the Soviet school of montage, the musical comedy of the Stalin era, Cold War cinema, and the relation between documentary and fiction film and its development from the 1920s to the late Soviet period. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The fall of the Versailles system, German and Soviet diplomatic and military activities and their occupational policies in East Central Europe during World War II, economic exploitation, collaboration, resistance, and genocide in the discussed region, its “liberation” and sovietization in 1944-1945. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
How the peoples of Eastern Europe tried to organize their domestic affairs, and in what international context they sought to operate, in order to survive as national entities and later to preserve their newly-won independence and territorial integrity. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
World War I and the Russian Revolution: the Ukrainian independence movement; the Soviet Ukraine and west Ukrainian lands during the interwar period; World War II and the German occupation; the Soviet Ukraine before and after the death of Stalin. Socio-economic, cultural, and political developments. (Given by the Departments of History and Political Science) (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
From the Great Reforms to the Stalinist purges. Traditions and the dynamics of peasant (and landlord) society; pressures of industrialization and urbanization; revolutionary intelligentsia and its relation to the worker and peasant masses; the state bureaucracy’s efforts to induce and regulate social development. Concentration on the experiences of workers and peasants. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
An examination of black slavery in Latin America, with emphasis on the lives of the slaves, from the conquest of America to abolition in the 19th century.
An examination of how the history of 19th and 20th century Sub-Saharan Africa has often been pathologized between the normative extremes of tradition and modernity. The primary aim is to understand the subtle stratagems people in different parts of Africa adopted to negotiate their positions within the wider world. Cultural and social themes are stressed, but not to the exclusion of economic and political considerations.
Tsarist and Soviet foreign relations from the Crimean War to the present with emphasis on continuity and change. The seminar examines major themes in Russian and Soviet foreign policy behaviour on the basis of assigned readings.
Challenges to the hegemony of biomedical science constantly arise and include social and reform movements such as alternative medicine (e.g. homeopathy, Thomsonianism, chiropractic); animal rights (anti-vivisectionism); and feminism. This course explores these and other challenges to identify their origins, similarities, and differences in 19th- and 20th-century North America and Britain. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Primary research on selected topics in the development of health care in Canada.
The 20th century has been an age of experiments for Poland. Universal, general problems of democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, communism, socialism, free market and centrally planned economies, are examined, as are the ongoing adjustments made by the Polish people. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
A seminar exploring the evolution of Canadian political culture, with emphasis on the political ideas and leadership of the Prime Ministers. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
An introduction to the principal topics in the development of health care in Canada, including therapies, medical research, the organization of the medical profession, hospitals and paramedical treatment, and the role of the state. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The prairie West since the mid-19th century. The emergence of a distinctive region and its place in Canadian development.
Ideas behind the transformation from traditional institutions to constitutional democracy; the rise and fall of imperialism and militarism; Japanese identity and Japan’s place in the world. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Selected topics in a specific period of Canadian history. Content in any given year depends on instructor. Please see Departmental Handbook for complete description.
Examines French colonial Indochina through several different lenses. Themes include the cross-cultural “contact zones” between colonial and colonized societies, gender perceptions, imperial culture, expressions of colonial power, and forms of opposition. Colonial novels, translated resistance literature, documentaries, and films are utilized as primary sources to be examined critically.
The emphasis in this course is on Native peoples, settlement issues and settler society; economic development; women; reform movements; other distinctive aspects of the history of the Maritime region and Newfoundland. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
This course examines the interaction between religion and culture in Canada from colonial times to the present with emphasis on primary documents. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Addressing South Asian history after 1750, this course examines ideas of rights, contract, and the rule of law in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Attention is paid to the intellectual history of rights and the central place of colonial and postcolonial questions within that history. Topics include rights and questions concerning indigenous culture, caste and customary practice, gender and capitalist development.
This course considers the origins and evolution of U.S. experiences with globalization: attention is paid to economic, technological, cultural, and institutional developments during the past century.
Major themes in the history of Aboriginal-White relations in Canada. Topics included are: role of native people in the creation of British North America and in the Western fur trade; the emergence of the Métis; analysis of colonial Indian policy; the Red River Resistance; the making of treaties; the North West Rebellion; the struggle for survival in post-treaty Canada; the emergence of “red power”; contemporary and feminist issues. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The course examines United States foreign policy as it relates to a number of major episodes in the international politics of East and South East Asia during the Cold War. Attention is paid to the role of other international actors. Topics include the Korean War and the Vietnam War
Concentration on the experience of African-Americans in the city from the late 19th century to the present. Topics include the great migration north, creation of black urban communities, role of institutions such as family, church, black businesses; analysis of the problems of white racism, discrimination, poverty, crime, violence, health, housing.
This course explores the origins, consolidation, and unmaking of segregationist social orders in South Africa and the American South. It examines the origins of racial inequality, the structural and socio-political roots of segregation, and the twin strategies of accommodation and resistance employed by black South Africans and African Americans. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The history of Black Americas seen through the eyes of some of the men and women who experienced it. Attention is given to slavery but emphasis is on the twentieth century. Students examine autobiographical works, novels, and film.
Examination of the impact of industrialism on Victorian society and values. Concentration on Victorian social critics including Engels, Owen, Maynew, Dickens and Morris.
The extent to which the United States has been a “melting pot”, including migrations to and settlement patterns in America, concepts of nationality and race, and the processes of assimilation and acculturation. Blacks and Native Americans are also discussed, especially their nationalism and sense of common origin.
An analysis of the political, social, and economic institutions and foreign policy commitments of the United States from 1941 to 1992.
Engaging with influential perspectives in postcolonial historiography, this seminar tracks three major themes in the history of the idea of modernity from the late 18th through the 20th centuries: political freedom, citizenship and the nation-state; capitalism and its critique; and the relationship of history, memory, and identity. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The course deals with the historiographical presuppositions and the historical writings of Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Muslims. The course examines original chronicles and historical biographies (in English translations) belonging to these four great religious traditions of India.
Seminar examines how recent electronic media has interpreted the American
past. We will view television and film documentaries, listen to radio
documentaries, and examine websites. We will consider how producers working
in these media have used different types of historical evidence –
visual, aural, textual.
This course treats various aspects of the social, economic, legal and political history of women. A specific topic and period are selected for intensive study each year. The primary focus is on western Europe, but with substantial reference to the comparative experience of women in North America and eastern Europe.
A seminar on aspects of Chinese history from 1368 to the present, with emphasis on social history. Topics vary and include: social structure in Ming-Qing China; religion and ritual in Chinese society; Chinese popular culture. Topic for 2003-04: Topics in the history of Chinese popular religion. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The development of intelligence techniques and operations in wartime conditions; the role of espionage, cryptanalysis and deception in deciding the battles and campaigns of the Second World War.
Introduces students to some of the main issues in the history of psychiatry. Readings from the secondary historical literature are distributed and discussed in class, covering such topics as changes in the nature of psychotic illness, the psychoneuroses, disorders of the mind/body relationship, and the psychiatric diagnosis and the “presentation” of illness. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Topics include caudillo politics in the 19th century, the spread of commercial agriculture, peasant and/or Indian revolts, the formation of the early labour movement and banditry (social and anti-social). Focus on Mexico, Peru, Cuba, and Brazil. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
The history of nationalism in India as it has developed out of the competing images and realities of national identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (Joint undergraduate-graduate)
Britain’s response to the French Revolution and revolutionary wars studied through selected topics in political theory, the history of popular movements, the experience of industrialization and foreign policy.
Issues of identity and difference in the meeting of Natives and Europeans during colonization of Canada. Eastern, Western and Arctic Canada, 16th- to early 19th-centuries.
Slavery has often been used to define both kinship and citizenship in African history, just as slavery and citizenship have been seen as threats to kinship, and kinship and slavery have been seen as obstacles to citizenship. This course examines the relationship between these three topics in West African history.
An in-depth examination of historical issues. Content in any given year depends on instructor. See Undergraduate Handbook or History website for more details.
An in-depth examination of historical issues. Content in any given year depends on instructor. See Undergraduate Handbook or History website for more details.
These courses assume the form of an undergraduate thesis. Students must find an appropriate supervisor from the Department, receive approval for the project, and submit an Independent Studies ballot. Students must be enroled in either a History Specialist or Major program, with a B+ average in no less than 4 HIS courses, or with special permission of the instructor. Applications must be received in September for first session courses; in December for second session courses.
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