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History | Selected Topics Spring 2012

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HIST-296 001: Vikings and Crusaders

HIST-396 001/ HIST-696 001: Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe

HIST-396 002/ HIST-696 002: Scientific Revolution

HIST-396 003/ HIST-696 003: The United States and the Middle East

HIST-396 004: Jerusalem through the Ages

HIST-396 005/ HIST-696 005: British Empire in Asia and Africa

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COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

HIST-296 001: Vikings and Crusaders

This course examines the movement of large numbers of Europeans in the early and central Middle Ages. Primary and secondary sources are used to investigate, among other things, life in the Viking homeland, reasons for expansion, the nature (usually violent) of encounters with Europeans, the Christianization of the Vikings, and the character of Viking settlements in Europe. The class then briefly considers Norman expansion before moving on to a detailed study of the Crusading movement. The course includes the religious and political context in Europe and the Middle East, just war theory, the social and economic reasons for Crusading, the progress of the First Crusade, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The course ends with a brief examination of the later Crusades, which tended to concentrate on locations other than Jerusalem.


HIST-396 001/ HIST-696 001: Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe

This seminar explores changing ideas about crime and punishment in Europe. It considers topics such as public executions, personal vendettas, humanitarian legal theory, the classification of criminals, the use of torture, the necessity of capital punishment, the emergence of the insanity plea, and attitudes towards sexual crimes.


HIST-396 002/ HIST-696 002: Scientific Revolution

This course analyzes the transition from medieval forms of natural inquiry to more modern science. It looks at the new sun-centered worldview, mechanical conception of motion, experimentalism, women and science, and the New World and science between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.


HIST-396 003/ HIST-696 003: The United States and the Middle East

This course covers the history of the United States' relationship with the nations and peoples of the Middle East. U.S. interests there date back to the Barbary Wars and continue down to today's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The course focuses especially on U.S.-Middle East relations after 1945.


HIST-396 004: Jerusalem through the Ages

This course covers the history of the city of Jerusalem from David's conquest ca. 1,000 B.C.E. through to the present day, focusing especially on the site as a holy city to Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and its status as a point of contention in the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict. Meets with JWST-396 002.


HIST-396 005/ HIST-696 005: British Empire in Asia and Africa

This course examines British involvements in Africa and Asia from the eighteenth to the twentieth century focusing on the political, economic, and social contours of imperialism. Topics covered include British colonial India, the Scramble for Africa, and South Africa's Boer Wars.



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