Special Topics Courses
In addition to courses listed in the catalog, almost every quarter the department offers "special topics courses" in history and political science. These are listed under Hist 298 and PSci 472, and you may take more than one special topics course for credit. Hist 299 is also a special topics course but one focused on the Historical Background of Current Issues.
HIST 298 (sect 001): African-American Women's History
Instructor: Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Murphy
This course will introduce students to the social, political, economic, cultural, and legal dimensions of African American women’s lives in the United States from the seventeenth century to the present. Using primary documents, secondary texts, and visual sources, this course will center the voices of African American women, charting their lives as citizens, laborers, mothers, wives, activists, foot soldiers, and cultural workers. Proceeding chronologically, this class will introduce some of the central themes in Black Women’s History, such as labor, political activism, violence, migration, family life, and religion.
HIST 299 (sect 001): 2012 Maya History in Context
Instructor: Dr. Donald Stevens
History 299 examines a current policy issue in its historical context. This course may be repeated for credit.
PSCI 472 (sect 001): International Security
Instructor: Dr. Zoltan Buzas
What are the international and national security implications of China’s rise and the Arab revolutions? Is the Democratic or Republican national security agenda better for national and international security? Is cyber warfare the future of conflict? This course surveys the most important international security problems in a theoretically informed fashion. The first part of the course focuses on the major theories of international security and applies them to prominent historical cases. The second part examines a wide variety of current security problems.
PSCI 472 (sect 002): Urban Food Policy
Instructor: Dr. Christian Hunold
HIST 298 (sect 001): Maritime History
Instructor: Dr. Kris Alexanderson
HIST 298 (sect 002): Transnational US History
Instructor: Dr. Kathryn Steen
"Trans-," a remnant of Latin in English, is the prefix that means "across, beyond, or through"; "transnational history" is all about studying historical events and processes that cross national borders. While historians have discussed some transnational topics for decades -- such as immigration or trade around the Atlantic Ocean--the scholarship picked up momentum in the last twenty years, partly because of current discussions about the complicated causes and impact of globalization. When do national borders matter? How easily are they crossed by people, things, and ideas? In this course, we'll look at selected topics in US history in a more global context, exploring the roles and permeability of that container called the nation.
HIST 298 (sect 003): Venice and the Mediterranean from the Middle Ages to Napoleon
Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Seitz
Not quite land and not quite water, the city-state of Venice was one of the most important in the Mediterranean region for centuries, from the Middle Ages until its fall to Napoleon's armies in 1797. Venice occupied a key place (both geographically and metaphorically) between West and East, between Latin Europe and the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. All of these aspects make the history of Venice and the Venetians one of the most fascinating stories in history and provides us with a wonderful vantage-point from which to observe the history of the broader Mediterranean world.
PSCI 472 (sect 001): Frantz Fanon's Political Thought
Instructor: Dr. George Ciccariello-Maher
Philosopher, psychiatrist, and revolutionary, Frantz Fanon is among the most intriguing figures of the 20th century. This course will explore Fanon's writings and discuss what led a Caribbean-born and French-educated intellectual to join the Algerian Revolution. Films will include The Battle of Algiers and The Hunger Games.
PSCI 472 (sect 002): Democratic Transitions
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Friedheim
PSCI 472 (sect 001): Human Rights in Armed Conflict
Instructor: Dr. Amelia Hoover Green
This course considers a number of dynamics that affect the welfare of civilians and soldiers during armed conflict. Drawing on international relations theory, comparative analysis of civil wars, social psychology, military sociology and a number of other disciplines, we ask (for example): Are certain types of wars more dangerous for civilians? What causes armed groups to commit lethal and non-lethal violence against civilians? Are there methods (short of ending war) that can limit levels or repertoires of violence during war? And finally, how (and how effectively) do we hold armed actors accountable for the violence they commit? Bi-weekly class visits from conflict veterans, survivors of human rights abuses, and international human rights workers.
PSCI 472 (sect 002) Policing and Prisons
Instructor: Dr. George Ciccariello-Maher
Nearly 6 million U.S. citizens were not able to vote in the 2012 elections due to felony convictions, and the U.S. locks up a larger percentage of its population than any other country on earth. This class will analyze the historical importance of policing and incarceration in the United States.
(There are no special topics courses currently scheduled for summer 2013.)