Skip to main content

Fall 2021

  • Gender in History and Theory (56:512:523) – Graduate Seminar

The history of gender has come a long way since it first emerged as women’s history in the mid-twentieth century alongside the Second Wave Feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s. From women’s history to the new frontier of transgender history, this course traces the development of gender as a category of historical study, and how its direction was shaped by certain theoretical and methodological debates both within and outside the discipline of history.  After initially examining the gendered nature of historical practice itself, in the first half of the course we will explore the emergence of women’s history—from ancient history to US history—and how this eventually transformed into gender history, including feminist histories, the history of masculinity, as well as the introduction of deconstructionist theory (Joan Scott; Judith Butler), and the critiques of this new perspective. The second half of the course will then examine specific intersections between gender history and other categories of history, including race, labor and technology, the body, sexuality, health, colonialism, as well as both regionally specific and global histories.

Students will complete in-depth readings (monographs and/or articles) for each weekly topic, actively contribute to class discussion, co-facilitate one discussion, and write both a book review and a short methodological review essay relevant to their own research interests. [Gender in History and Theory_Jewell_Syllabus]

  • Western Civilization 1: Prehistory to Charlemagne

This course explores the emergence and development of what has been called “Western Civilization”, from the prehistoric period, down to the creation of the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne. Students will journey through much historical and geographical terrain, including the Mesopotamian world of Gilgamesh, the matriarchy of Çatalhöyük, the Mediterranean of Homer, Pericles’ Athens, Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, down to the rise (and fall) of the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic empires. Within this timeline, the course focuses on key themes, such as how different forms of knowledge, imperialism, religion, intercultural exchange and material culture have all contributed to our definition of Western Civilization—a concept itself which will be questioned in the course. Coursework includes attending lectures, active engagement in class activities, digital mapping tasks, museum object studies, short exams and short written source analyses. [Jewell_HIST 101_Syllabus_Fall 21_FINAL]

Spring 2022

  • Athens: the Golden Age (50:510:303)Reacting to the Past role-playing based class.

Athens of the 5th century BCE is often held up as the birthplace of democracy. But was it? How did Athens gain this reputation, and how did Athenian democracy compare to other city-states in the Greek world from the same period and their forms of government, such as oligarchy, tyranny and monarchy? What was it like to be a citizen (a free male) in these city-states, or to be excluded from citizenship (women, enslaved people, foreign residents)? This course will tackle these questions and more, offering a survey of Greek history (Athens, Sparta, and other, less famous city-states) from the Persian Wars down to the fall of the Thirty Tyrants at Athens in 403 BCE and its aftermath. The core of the class involves a historical role-playing game, called Reacting to the Past: students will be assigned roles to play, and in these roles they will compose speeches, form alliances, make strategic decisions—and possibly change the course of history within the game. In addition to being assessed for their participation in, and preparation for, the game and their (written) speeches, students will complete: ancient source analyses, a historical analysis on an aspect of one city-state, and a creative assignment which considers the legacy of classical Greece in the history of the American Republic up to today.

  • Immigration in the Ancient World (50:510:380) – Special Topics in European History

Ancient peoples were frequently on the move, or being moved—sometimes voluntarily, sometimes against their will. Yet even as “immigration” is a hot topic in today’s world and politics, we must use caution when applying the term to ancient peoples. This course therefore considers how and why people moved around the ancient Mediterranean, in dialogue with more modern examples and definitions, through the lens of displacement, enslavement and colonialism, refuge and asylum, diaspora, exile and hospitality, labor-based migration, borders, travel, and the ancient institution of citizenship, among others. We will travel from the world of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to Greece, Rome and the early post-Roman world, taking in the full geographical reach of the Mediterranean sea and its adjacent land routes into the hinterland and beyond to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Assessments include article and source analyses, a digital mapping task, and two components of an online class exhibit on a historical theme of our collective choosing: a visual analysis (“object-as-history”); and a series of group dictionary entries on the theme.