United States History I
Examines significant events, movements, and personalities of American national development from 1763 to the Civil War. Emphasis on the relationship between socioeconomic factors and political change. Introduction to the method of historical inquiry by the examination of evidence, the analysis of facts, the development of a narrative and interpretation. Offered selectively. Group: II.
United States History II
Examines significant events, movements, and personalities in American history from 1865 to the present. The goal is to broaden understanding of the methods that historians use and the questions they ask, using the subject of American history. Offered selectively. Group: II.
History of Outsiders in America: Puritans, Pirates, and Pariahs
Many shards of the American cultural mosaic represent the impact of outsiders. American independence and national character unleash voices of individualism and dissent. These voices appear across the political spectrum, from the enlightened pronouncements of the American founders, to the slave narrative by Harriet Jacobs, the poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar, and many Harlem Renaissance authors, such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Countee Cullen. American democracy itself can be seen as an act of defiant separation from the Old Order. Has American lived up to its promise? Our goal in this class will be to bring those under-represented voices to the fore in order to examine the question of, “Who is American?” Social Systems Thematic Area.
World History I
This course will identify and explore the development of distinct civilizations in a global context from approximately 1500 B.C.E. to 1400 CE. Our analysis will focus on the principal theme of the evolution of leading civilizations. As we move through history, we will consider topics like the following: the comparative roles of men and women in the major world religions, how women have participated in various societies and economies, and cultural contact and processes of assimilation and dominance. Fall. Group: II.
World History II
This course will identify and explore the major stages in the interaction between and among different peoples and societies around the globe from approximately 1400 CE to the present day. As we move through history, we will consider topics like the following: the comparative roles of men and women in the major world religions, how women have participated in various societies and economies, cultural contact and processes of assimilation and dominance, and the concept of a global community in the post-modern age. Spring. Group: II.
The Immigrant Experience
Diaries, memoirs, letters, autobiographies, and histories of immigrants reveal their precarious position in the United States. Expected to aspire to the “American Dream” of success and happiness, immigrants are often denied access to the means for achieving it. Special attention is given to the experience of first-generation immigrants, and through a community service component, students tutor and interview immigrants who are studying English at Pine Manor College. Offered selectively. Group: II.
Voices from the Past: Oral History
Studies the collection, interpretation, analysis, and use of oral history as a means to reconstruct the past. Oral history is approached as a component of a larger interdisciplinary approach to understanding the past. Examines related disciplines such as oral tradition, folklore, anthropology and gerontology. Offered selectively. Group: II.
History of Race and Ethnicity in the Americas
This course will offer an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the role of race and ethnicity in the development and histories of countries in the Americas. Beginning with theories of these two categories of identity and difference, we will explore the ways in which they evolved through examination of conquest, colonialism, slavery and racism, immigration, processes of assimilation, and defining “American.” Offered selectively. Group: II.
Surveys African history from early states and ancient kingdoms through colonialism and independence up to the modern state. Emphasis will be on the continent’s diversity and cultural richness. African historiography from the perspective of interdisciplinary themes including social, economic, political, cultural and communications history will be examined. The role of archaeology and oral traditions in reconstructing the African past will be explored. The significance of African ecology and geography in shaping the continent’s history will be assessed. Offered selectively. Group: II.
This course examines the experiences of peoples of African descent in the United States from the colonial era to the present. We will focus on a series of moments including the following: African cultures, Western European conquest of Africa and the global slave trade, the experience of African slaves throughout the Americas and the development of distinctive slave cultures, the role of slavery in the political, economic and social climate of the U.S., construction of an African-American identity, abolition and political status, the urban experience, the Harlem Renaissance, and the development of distinctively African-American styles of religion, music, art, and literature, political activism, and the Civil Rights Movement, African-American and Afro-Caribbean experiences in contemporary America. Offered selectively. Group: II.
Reflecting on Contemporary Events
Examination and discussion of articles in popular journals. This course encourages critical thought about issues and events shaping our world. Becoming an informed participant in contemporary history, rather than a mere spectator, is central to the course. Offered selectively. Group: I or II
Women in American History
The story of American women, including the plantation “mistress,” the Puritan ordinary vs. “disorderly” woman, pioneer women and the overland journey, the treatment of slave women, the 19th-century industrial working vs. bourgeois woman, and the suffragists. Offered selectively. Group: II.
Boston Through Its Writers
Refer to description in Interdisciplinary Courses