European Studies


Encounters with the Non-European World

Fall Quarter (F18)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor
Emphasis/Category: Encounters with the Non-European World

This course explores the role of Iran in the visual, material and intellectual exchanges among the great settled, nomadic and mercantile empires of late antiquity (ca. 200-700 CE), a pivotal period of interconnection and transformation in Eurasian history. We will investigate the art, architecture, urbanism and visualities of empire in the settled empires, such as Sasanian Iran, Rome and China, and steppe powers such as the Huns and Türks, as well as smaller states on the peripheries and interstices in Western Europe, Central and South Asia, and Africa enmeshed in these imperial struggles and intrigues. Topics include the growth and competition in images and ideologies of sacred kingship; transformations of Eurasian visual cultures through long distance diplomacy and commerce; magical and astrological practices and lore; and the formation of new liturgical spaces for imperial or universalizing religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Iranian religions such as Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism.
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM

Emphasis/Category: French Studies, Modern Europe (1798-), Encounters with the Non-European World

This course will study some key literary, cultural, and political episodes in the relationship between France and the New World, focusing particularly on contact-points in Haiti and what is now the United States. Reading will include texts by Montaigne, Toussaint Louverture, Thomas Jefferson, Chateaubriand, and Tocqueville, along with documents of exploration and revolution. All reading, writing, and discussion will be in English
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

Emphasis/Category: Spanish-Portuguese Studies, Encounters with the Non-European World

How did the Spanish imagine Aztecs and Incas? This course examines the role of sex, gender, and race in how Europeans conquered the Americas. In turn, we will investigate how the Aztecs in Mexico and the Incas in the Andes challenged conquest from the household to the market place and from the battlefield to the bedroom.

The sixteenth-century encounters between Europeans and indigenous peoples of the Americas were riddled with violence and miscommunication as well as negotiation and opportunity. In the first moments of early globalization, Iberians and native Americans defined and defied each other’s gender and racial expectations – to shape past and present identities of Latin Americans.

Throughout the quarter, we will analyze primary texts as well as scholarly books and articles to explore questions such as: How did indigenous women and men participate in the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas? Did Catholic evangelization completely silence native beliefs? How did competing ideas of masculinity inform the acts of conquest and resistance throughout Latin America? How did gendered hierarchies as well as new racial categories create the clashes of conquest? How did indigenous and Spanish people clash over definitions of sex and sexuality?

Evaluation will be based on two essays, one midterm exam, and class participation.
(Satisfies pre-1800 Requirement)
Days: TU TH  09:30-10:50 AM

Emphasis/Category: Modern Europe (1798-), Encounters with the Non-European World

Problems in History (Europe) provides an introduction to the historical problems, the issues of interpretation, the use of primary sources, and the historical scholarship of the history of Europe with an emphasis on developing skills in historical essay-writing. This particular iteration of History 70B, Monsters and Borders, will focus upon the historical problem of monsters. Monsters (particularly human-animal or human-demon hybrids) of varying types appear regularly in otherwise serious works of European literature, political polemic, and geography written between c. 450 BCE and 1700 CE. In order to better understand the role played by the horrific and fantastic in the unfolding historical events and their recollection, this class will explore how different European communities used the portrayal of monsters to define the boundaries of their communities, understand the unknown, reinterpret the past, promote religious and/or intellectual reform, and establish hierarchical political orders.
(Satisfies Pre-1800 Requirement)
Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM