History Course Descriptions

UC Irvine Student Center


Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course focuses on the wide implications of the slave trade and slavery for Atlantic societies in Europe, Africa and the Americas. The main learning objective is an understanding of the role of the slave trade in shaping the Atlantic world. Topics include the origins and debates around slavery and the slave trade, the impact of the slave trade on Europe, Africa, and the Americas, the conditions of plantation life and urban slavery, slave resistance, the paradox of slavery and the ideology of freedom emerging simultaneously in the United States, as well as the origins of racism. The two final weeks will explore the origins and consequences of attempts to eradicate the slave systems in the Atlantic basin.
This course will introduce students to the history of twentieth-century China, as told from the perspective of one of its greatest (and most notorious) leaders: Mao Zedong. Mao, a leading revolutionary in the Chinese Communist Party and the founder of the People's Republic of China, is a complex historical figure. Alternately praised as a visionary or condemned as a murderous megalomaniac, assessments of Mao have varied greatly over time. What writers and historians largely agree upon, however, is that the changing contours of Mao's life greatly informed - and were informed by - the convoluted path of modern Chinese history. In this class, students will be introduced to the political chronology of modern China through major works of Maoist theory and Chinese historiography. We will examine how Mao's ideology took shape as a product of his sociopolitical environment, as well as how his theories played out on the ground level. Students will be evaluated based upon their performance on three exams, one essay, and class participation/reading responses.
This course traces the history of sexuality in the United States from colonial times through the nineteenth century. We will look at how Americans understood sex in different time periods and how these attitudes were tied to racial and gender divisions. Readings will include original historical documents (primary sources) and essays written by historians (secondary sources).

Note: This class focuses on subject matter related to sexual beliefs, sexual practices, heterosexuality, homosexuality, childbirth, transgenderism, rape, and other potentially sensitive topics. Students should be prepared to participate respectfully and be willing to address such subjects in historical perspective.
No detailed description available.
This course provides an introduction to some of the most important historical processes making the modern world during the late 19th and 20th century. Topics include imperialism and nationalism, revolution and fascism, decolonization and cold war violence, globalization and local economies. The course pays particular attention to how dynamics of gender, sexuality, class, and race shape historical experience and political struggles in the modern world.
No detailed description available.
Important themes in U.S. history in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Topics include corporate capitalism, empire, immigration, race, gender, consumer society, World Wars, Progressiveness, New Deal, Great Society, civil rights, women's movements, Vietnam War, conservative politics, and economic stratification.
No detailed description available.
What will happen to China? Will China continue to enjoy its rapid economic growth in the future or will its economic slowdown pose a legitimacy crisis for the Chinese Communist Party; a political group that has already been troubled by corruption and sex scandals in recent years? This course will try to address this question from a historical perspective, covering China's political, social, and cultural history over the past 200 plus years.

Our main focus will be a new historical and cyclical pattern of reform and revolution that has rocked China through this period. We will review this issue through three lenses; traditional social and political patterns before the coming of the West, the series of crises, partially brought about by foreign incursion, which resulted in various versions of reform and revolutions, and the role of Mao's revolution, its ultimate failure, and the Deng Xiaoping reforms.
Arriving in the New World for the first time, Europeans encountered scores of different people and cultures that they had never imagined even existed. The course traces the history of first contacts from 1492 through present-day rendezvous with inhabitants of remote areas including Brazil and Papua New Guinea.
The course explores the historical roots of the contemporary Middle East, covering the most important themes in the history of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries Middle East within a global context. It will focus on several events -- the partition of the Middle East in the first world war, genocide, the Iranian Revolution to name a few -- that shook and changed the Modern Middle East. The aim is to explore larger concepts and contexts that have shaped Modern Middle Eastern history but to do so through the study of specific key episodes.
This course uses the lens of popular culture (movies, music, consumer culture, etc) to study US history from 1900-1999.  This means that instead of reading about the Presidents' and Generals' actions to forward the Vietnam War, our starting point will be the protest music of Woodstock.  Likewise, to understand the underlying racial, gender & class issues of the Culture Wars of the 80s & 90s, we will examine hip-hop group N.W.A.'s calling out of police brutality in juxtaposition with the "Greed is Good" mentality of the Reagan Revolution.  However, as these examples illustrate, popular culture is inextricably intertwined with "traditional" subjects like politics and economics.
By starting our examination with popular culture, we will seek a more wholesome understanding of how "regular" people experienced history.  To our modern sensibilities, it may seem incomprehensible to link routing out "sexual deviants" and maintaining a picture-perfect suburban lifestyle with winning the Cold War.  And yet, you will find that these people were not anymore "backwards" or "irrational" than we are today.  The people of the past are not so different than us today because the past made the present, and so the future.
This course is an introduction to both Latin American history and literature with an emphasis on the experience of Africans and their descendants. Primary and secondary sources will allow students to analyze the writing of history and the construction of biographical accounts as a research method. Exploring questions of agency, race and ethnicity, this course draws on the rich written culture of the colonial era to supplement black narratives produced during the modern period. The goals of this course include guiding students in the collection, classification and analysis of evidence as well as helping them in the writing process.

The final assignment will consist in a ten-page paper in which students will write a historical biography intersecting a broad narrative of the history of Latin America. This paper will require the use of both primary and secondary sources drew from the course materials and/or holdings of the UC Libraries. By the end of the third week of classes, students are expected to submit three pages on the idea of the biography they want to write. By the end of the eighth week of the course, they should submit and expanded version of the first assignment consisting of six pages. Failing to submit the paper at each deadline will reduce half a letter of the final grade of the written assignment. Students will submit the complete paper by the end of the course.
This course focuses on the major themes and frameworks employed by historians who write on African American Women's History. Topics we will explore include: African American women in Slavery; Black Feminist Theory; African American women and Black Power; violence against African American women; and African American women in the Era of Black Lives Matter. Prior enrollment in History, African American Studies and/or Women and Gender Studies courses are encouraged. History 100W fulfills the upper-division writing requirement for UCI and the historical writing requirement for the History Major. The requirements, set by the school and the department, are absolute.  Our goal in this class is to analyze how historians approach a topic, examine evidence, and create arguments. This means that we will be doing several short assignments, each of which will employ a different form of historical writing.
In 1095, Pope Urban II called upon the military elite of Western Europe to undertake an arduous journey to rescue their fellow Christians and the holy city of Jerusalem from Muslim rule. His words marked the beginning of a crusade movement of warriors fighting under the sign of the cross, which resulted in the establishment of European colonies in Syria and Palestine. This movement had a profound effect upon the development of European society and inspired other wars of expansion and colonization. Although the prolonged and violent contact among European crusaders, Byzantine Christians and Muslims in the eastern Mediterranean profoundly changed all three cultures, this course will primarily focus on medieval Europe for the purpose of answering two questions. First we will ask what caused the Europeans to engage in what they understood to be a holy war against eastern Mediterranean Muslims in 1095. Second, we will ask how did the active engagement in a prolonged crusade movement change European culture, institutions, and attitudes towards those they perceived to be religious others.
When the French destroyed their monarchy in the Revolution of 1789, they created a republic based on ideas of nationhood and citizenship specifically tied to France, its language and its people -- but with universal inspirations. Students will learn about the tumultuous century, from the reign of Napoleon to the eve of World War I, during which the French forged a nation based on republican principles. Fought over at home and imposed abroad in the French empire, these principles also inspired revolutionaries around the globe. We will study the dynamism of French culture and society that gave France an importance in world history disproportionate to its size. We will end the class by considering the ways in which contemporary developments (particularly the rise of Islam in Europe) have challenged the French republican model elaborated in the nineteenth century.

Topics include: nation building, empire, French universalism, secularism vs. religion in public life, class structures and class relations, the central role of Paris in political and cultural life, relations within the family and between genders, the birth of cinema.
No detailed description available.
This survey course is designed to introduce students to the history of ancient Iran, from the earliest times to the Muslim conquest of Iran in the seventh century. In a chronological sequence, we will look at the history of Iran before the Iranians, the formidable Elamite civilization and the history of its rise, apogee, and decline; the emergence of Iranian speaking people on the Plateau, and the formation of ancient Iranian empires and their development and expansion throughout the late Sasanian period. For this purpose a selection of ancient Iranian texts will be studied in translation based on the relevant archaeological, historical, and geographical sources.
This course covers the most important themes in the history of Armenians and Armenia in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries and does so within a regional (i.e., Middle East and Caucasus) and global context. It focuses on the Armenians living in ancestral lands within the Russian and Ottoman empires as well as those living outside, especially in the post-genocide period. It examines the problems and impact of imperialism, revolution, and genocide on the development of the history of Armenians. This course will proceed in chronological order from imperial rule in the nineteenth century through twentieth-century genocide, brief independence, sovietization, and independence again, but it will also have a strong thematic approach. As we explore this history, we will focus not only on Armenians as imperial and national subjects in ancestral lands but also as transimperial and transnational subjects in a diaspora that has had a complex relationship with the idea and reality of homeland. Readings include secondary and primary sources by and about Armenians themselves.
In ancient times only a few goods traveled by sea but today nearly 75 percent of all trade travels this way. Topics we will discuss include: how modern seafaring came to be, how Greeks, Romans, Norsemen, Polynesians, Indians, and Chinese came to travel on ships, and the legendary pirates they faced.
This course will provide students with a history of work in 20th and 21st century United States, with particular attention to the role of race, gender, and citizenship status in structuring one's position within the working class. The course will focus on three separate but interrelated topics: the rise and decline of labor unions in the United States; workers' activism to prohibit discrimination at work; and the growing role of undocumented workers in the U.S. economy since the 1960s.
The history of Latinas in the U.S. from 1900 to the present, offering a diversity of their cultures, regional histories, sexualities, generations, and classes.

Same as Chicano/Latino Studies 132B.
No detailed description available.
No detailed description available.
As seen today, the Korean peninsula is home to two starkly different societies: a pop culture powerhouse and a geopolitical pariah; a plugged-in innovator in consumer electronics and a closed-off authoritarian regime; a democratically elected government and a military dictatorship. These striking contrasts, however, belie a shared history and heritage. Taking the long view of the emergence and divergence of both polities, this course explores Korea's remarkable transformation over the twentieth century, a period that witnessed colonial liberation as well as devastating war, political repression as well as cultural efflorescence, economic vitality as well as devastating famine. Among the topics examined are colonial collaboration and resistance, Korea in the Cold War order, ethnic nationalism, postwar industrial and economic reforms, and the global ascendancy of K-pop. These topics will be examined through a wide range of sources (including films, memoirs, diaries, comic books, and scholarly assessments) that reflect the diversity of experiences of Koreans across social, class, and regional lines.
'Gandhi & Gandhism' will examine the political and intellectual history of Mohandas K. Gandhi-the Mahatma.  We will read a variety of texts by and about Gandhi on a wide-range of topics: the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, nationalism in India, British imperialism, sexuality and the body, Western Civilization, and non-violence.  Finally, we will look at the impact of Gandhi's thought on twentieth-century world history and examine critiques of his ideas.
Modern history, science fiction, and film illustrate ways in which technological change has provoked expressions of utopia and dystopia; instilled euphoria and panic; inspired business and art. Was the telegraph too fast for truth? Could electricity animate the dead? Will robots will take our jobs? Surveying the effects of technology on social practice from the eighteenth century to the present, our particular focus will be on social theories of difference (addressing gender, race, caste, class, and nation) and their embedding in histories of science and technology.
This course examines the historical origins and development of the Chinese revolution, focusing on the questions of how and why the Chinese revolution took place. Among the issues to be explored are late imperial Chinese society and culture, its "modern" transformation under the pressures of foreign imperialism, failures of various reforms, cultural radicalism, and the nationalist and communist revolutions.
This is a reading-intensive discussion seminar; we will also use video materials.  Students are required to actively participate in weekly class discussions and write two papers based on the assigned readings.
No detailed description available.
Although seventy years have elapsed since Japan's surrender in World War II, battles over the representation, memorialization, and interpretation of this conflict continue to be fought across East Asia. Involving grassroots movements and government ministries, history textbooks and comic books, shrine visitations and annual commemorations, conflicting representations of the experiences of the Asia-Pacific War continue to roil geopolitics across the region. What sustains these conflicts? What is the role of history-and the responsibility of historians-in shaping the geopolitical present? What are the limits and possibilities of the historical evidence upon which these disputes rest?

This course probes the politics of memory in East Asia through an analysis of the distinctive ways in which colonialism and war have been remembered, memorialized, forgotten, and disputed. Each week we will delve into a different historical dispute in order to provide a broad survey of the the fault lines of the politics of memory in the region. To do so, we will examine a wide range of materials including primary sources, historical scholarship, government white papers, as well as contemporary journalistic accounts and media coverage.
Second course in a two-quarter advanced research sequence. Allows upper division history majors to undertake significant research and writing under close faculty supervision.