Thematic Concentrations

 

Urban History

Intellectual History

Rights, Law, and the State

Empires and Colonialism

Race and Ethnicity

Gender, Sexuality, and the Family

Markets, Money, and Labor

Science, Technology, and Environment

The Atlantic World

Religion, Belief, and Values

Premodern History

War and Revolution

International and Global

 

Urban History

Investigates the history of cities, urbanization and urbanism.  Examines the economic, social, demographic and spatial processes that fuel urbanization and shape urban systems.  Explores the development of cities and urban processes through a variety of issues: economic activities, social structures, material conditions, political institutions, built environment, spatial form, urban cultures, and everyday life.  Interrogates the historical agency of cities: their impact on individuals, social groups, and the larger society.

Sample courses:

HIST    BC2408
Emerging Cities: 19th Century Urban History of the Americas and Europe

HIST    BC2978
20th Century Cities: Americas and Europe

HIST    BC3360
London: From Great Wen to World City

HIST    BC3830
Bombay/Mumbai and Its Urban Imaginaries

HIST    BC3651
Jewish Tales from Four Cities: The Immigrant Experience in New York, Buenos Aires, Paris and London

HIST    BC3456 
The Craft of Urban History

HIST    BC3323
The City in Europe

HIST    UN2441 
Making of the Modern American Landscape

HIST    UN2575 
Power and Place: Black Urban Politics

AMHS  UN4462
Immigrant New York

URBS   UN3308
Introduction to Urban Ethnographies

URBS   UN3315
Metropolitics of Race and Place

 

For additional urban related courses outside of the Barnard-Columbia History Departments, see the Urban Studies website for a regularly updated course list  http://urban.barnard.edu/

 

Intellectual History

Explores the history of the interplay between ideas and culture. Examines how religious, scientific, economic, and political ideas are shaped by society and how in turn they influence the formation of societies. Compares different periods and regions to gain appreciation for both intellectual continuities and change over time.

Sample Courses:

HIST    BC2321
Colonial Encounters

HIST    BC2062
Medieval Intellectual Life

HIST    BC3909 
History of Environmental Thinking

HIST    UN2478
US Intellectual History

HIST    BC3119
Capitalism and Enlightenment

HIST    BC3064
Medieval Science and Society

HIST    BC3324
Vienna and the Birth of the Modern

HIST    UN3305
European Enlightenment

HIST    UN3127
Enlightenment and its Critics

HIST    UN3644
Modern Jewish Intellectual History

 

Rights, Law, and the State

Investigates efforts by individuals, groups, and the state to claim, delineate, and exercise power. Examines topics including state formation and modes of governance, the evolution of law and policy, and changing conceptions of citizenship and civil society, as well as movements and ideas of civil and human rights contesting the power of the state and other authorities.

Sample courses:

HIST    BC2321
Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire

HIST    BC2323
European Women in the Age of Revolution

HIST    BC2567
American Women in the 20th Century

HIST    BC2805
Law and Society in South Asia

HIST    BC3423
Origins of the Constitution

HIST    BC3672
Perspectives on Power in 20th Century Latin America

HIST    BC3788
Gender, Sexuality, & Power, Colonial to Contemporary Africa

HIST    UN2330
Europe Since 1945

HIST    UN2926
Historical Origins of Human Rights

HSEA   UN4891
Law in Chinese History

 

 

Empires and Colonialism

Focuses on the economic, social, political, and cultural encounters fostered by imperial expansion and decline. Explores issues such as the complex relationship between metropolitan and colonial societies, the circulation of peoples, goods, and ideas through imperial networks, great power rivalries, the intimate lived experience of colonization, forms of resistance, and the impact of empire on the postcolonial world.

Sample courses:

HIST    BC1760
Introduction to African History: 1800 to Present

HIST    BC1801
Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia

HIST    BC2180
Merchants, Pirates and Slaves

HIST    BC2321
Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire

HIST    BC2494
Era of Independence in the Americas

HIST    BC2855
Decolonization: Studies in Political Thought & Political

HIST    BC2803
Gender and Empire

HIST    BC3763
Childhood and Youth in African History

HIST    UN2719
History of the Modern Middle East

HIST    UN3235
Central Asia: Imperial Legacies, New Images

HIST    UN3434
Atlantic Slave Trade

HSEA   UN3869
Modern Japan, 1800 to the Present

 

 

Race and Ethnicity

Examines the cultural, social, legal, and political construction of racial and ethnic differences in societies historically. Considers how these categories have emerged, how they have functioned in society, how they have been deployed by states, and how they have been resisted.  Topics include racial slavery; scientific racism; the interaction of class, gender and ethno-racial constructions; social movements; immigration and citizenship; nationalism and nationhood.

Sample courses:

HIST    BC2321y 
Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire

HIST    UN2661y
Latin American Civilization II 

HIST    BC2414x
The United States in the World 

HIST    BC2440x 
Intro to African American History 

HIST    BC2803x
Gender and Empire 

HIST    BC2676x
Latin America: Migration, Race, and Ethnicity 

HIST    BC2855y
Decolonization: Studies in Political Thought and Political History

HIST    BC3651x
Jewish Tales from Four Cities: The Immigrant Experience in New York, Buenos Aires, Paris and London 

HIST    BC3411y
Race in the Making of the US 

HIST    BC3669y
Inequalities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Latin America

AFRS   BC2510x
Ethnicity and Food

AFRS   BC3150y
Race and Performance In The Caribbean

 

 

Gender, Sexuality, and the Family

Explores the political, economic, social, and cultural history of women cross-culturally and examines gender, the socially constructed differences between women and men, as a central element of power relations.  Coursework engages with topics such as: sexuality, colonialism and empire, labor, reproduction, race, consumerism, citizenship, migration, childhood, the body, the state, and feminism.

Sample courses:

HIST     BC2803x
Gender and Empire

HIST     BC2664x
Reproducing Inequalities: Families in Latin American History

HIST     BC2567y
American Women in the 20th Century

HIST     BC2865y
Gender and Power in China

HIST     BC3327x 
Consumer Culture in Modern Europe

HIST     BC3763x
Children and Childhood in African History

HIST     BC3788y
Gender, Sexuality, and Power from Colonial to Contemporary Africa

HIST     BC3861y
Body Histories: The Case of Footbinding

HIST     BC3879x
Feminist Traditions in China

WMST  BC3509y
Gender, Knowledge and Science in Modern European History

WMST  UN3915
Gender and Power in Transnational Perspective

 

 

Markets, Money, and Labor

Examines the historical specificity of markets, money, property, and labor relations and explores the interdependence between the economy and politics, society, and culture. In addition to asking how and why economic systems change, students will also examine how philosophers, politicians, and other historical actors, have theorized and sought to change economic relations.

Sample Courses:

HIST    UN3789
Poverty in Africa: Historical Perspectives

HIST    BC3062
Medieval Economic Life and Thought ca. 1000-1500

HIST    BC2116
Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Formation of Atlantic Capitalism

HIST    BC2180
Filthy Lucre

HIST    UN3434
Atlantic Slave Trade

HIST    BC2380
Social and Cultural History of Food in Europe

HIST    BC2321  
Colonial Encounters

HIST    BC3327
Consumer Culture in Modern Europe

HIST    BC3886
Fashion

HIST    BC3905
Capitalism, Colonialism, and Culture: A Global History

HIST    BC3669
Inequalities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Latin America

HIST    UN3008
Wealth and Poverty in the Classical World

 

 

Science, Technology, and Environment

Studies people’s dynamic interaction with nature, climate, and geography and explores the cultural, economic, political, and social contexts of science and technology. Students investigate how the natural world has deeply informed the development of human societies and in turn how societies have endeavored to change nature, climate, and the environment to suit their historically specific interests.

Sample Courses:

HIST     BC2380
Introduction to the History of Modern Science since 1800

HSPB   UN2950
Social History of American Public Health

HIST     UN2103
Alchemy, Magic, and Science

HIST     UN2544
Science and Technology in the United States from Franklin to Facebook

CSER   UN2222
Nature and Power: Environmental History of North America

HIST     BC3064 
Medieval Science and Society

HIST     UN3437
Poisoned Worlds: Corporate Behavior and Public Health

HIST     UN3584
Race, Technology, and Health

HIST     BC3909
History of Environmental History

HIST     UN3911
Medicine and Western Civilization

INSM    UN3940
Science Across Cultures

 

 

The Atlantic World

Investigation of the formation of a unique hybrid culture involving people and places touching the Atlantic, including Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean Islands.  Focus may include commercial ventures, political and religious impulses, revolutions, migrations, slavery, and the movement of ideas, technology, animals, crops, goods, and germs.

Sample courses:

ARS     BC2006
Introduction to African Diaspora

CSER  UN31040
Critical Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity and Race

HIST    BC2180
Merchants, Pirates and Slaves

HIST    BC2321  
Colonial Encounters:  European and the Culture of Empire

HIST    BC2424
Early American Maritime History

HIST    BC2440
Introduction to African American History

HIST    UN3434
Atlantic Slave Trade

HIST    UN2660
Latin American Civilization I/Colonial Latin America

HIST    UN2661 
Latin American Civilization II/Modern Latin America

ECON  BC3103
Economic History of the US:  From Colonial Settlement to the Great Merger

 

 

Religion, Belief, and Values

The study of religious institutions, movements, and belief systems, including the formation and maintenance of affiliations; debates over leadership and gender; reform, resistance, and rebellion in relation to religious institutions and power; involvement in philanthropy, military or missionary colonial projects; debates over gender, sexuality, and the family; humanitarianism and social activism.

Sample courses:

HIST     BC3788
Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Africa

HIST     UN2716
History of Islamic Society

HIST     UN3434
Atlantic Slave Trade

HIST     UN2616
Jews and Christians in the Medieval World

REL      UN2405
Chinese Religious Traditions

HIST     BC2803 
Gender and Empire

ASCM   UN4400
God in Muslim Life

REL      UN2615
Religions of Harlem

HIST    UN3180
Religious Conversion in Historical Perspective

HIST    BC2321
Colonial Encounters

 

 

Premodern History

Explores the roots of the modern world and also considers ancient, medieval, and early modern societies around the globe on their own terms.

Sample courses:

HIST    BC1062
Introduction to the Later Middle Ages

HIST    BC1101
European History, 1500-1789

HIST    BC2062
Medieval Intellectual Life

HIST    BC2180 
Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves

HIST    UN2103
Alchemy, Magic, and Science

HIST    UN1011
Ancient Greek History

HIST    UN2072
Daily Life in Medieval Europe

HIST    UN2810
History of South Asia I

HIST    UN2611 
Jews and Judaism in Antiquity

HIST    UN2060
Laws of War in the Middle Ages

HIST    UN2020
Roman Imperialism

 

 

War and Revolution

Explores rapid and dramatic social and political change that affects the lives of millions, leaving little as it was before. Examines topics such gender relations in wartime; techniques of mass mobilization; the role of new technologies in wartime; emergence of the fiscal-military state and its relation to revolution; patterns of revolution and reaction.

Sample courses:

HIST    BC1801
Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia

HIST    BC2321
Colonial Encounters

HIST    BC2323
European Women in the Age of Revolution

HIST    UN2661
Modern Latin America (Lat Am Civ II)

HIST    BC3672
Perspectives on Power in 20th Century Latin America

HIST    BC3901
Reacting to the Past, II

HIST    BC3953
Anarchism, a Global History

HIST    UN2060
Laws of War in the Middle Ages

HIST    UN2903
History of the World from 1450 CE to the Present

HIST    UN2997
World War II in History and Memory 

HIST    UN3923
Narratives of World War II

POLS   UN3401
Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe

POLS   UN3804
Civil Wars and International Interventions in Africa

 

International and Global History

 

Aims to provide a broad view of human history that goes beyond national narratives and boundaries to explore the circulation of people, goods, ideas and practices and the processes those meetings produce at a global scale.

Sample courses:

ARS     BC2006
Introduction to African Diaspora

HIST    BC2180
Merchants, Pirates and Slaves

HIST    BC2321
Colonial Encounters

HIST    UN2903 
History of the World from 1450 CE to the Present

HIST    UN2926
Historical Origins of Human Rights

HIST    BC2980
World Migration

HIST    UN3434
Atlantic Slave Trade

HIST    BC3651
Jews in New York, Buenos Aires, Paris and London

HIST    BC3870
Gender and Migration: A Global Perspective

HIST    BC3905
Capitalism, Colonialism, and Culture: A Global History

HIST    BC3953
Anarchism, a Global History

HIST    UN2926
Historical Origins of Human Rights