3000 Level Courses

AP/HIST 3110 6.0A: Ancient Israel: From Its Origins in the Settlement to the Babylonian Exile

Course Director:  M. Maidman, VH 2164, (416)736-2100 x30430, mmaidman@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: Investigations include methodological limitations; Old Testament, archaeology and ideology; Israel's origins; the settlement in Canaan; Philistia and the Israelite state; the Davidic Revolutions; the twin kingdoms; Assyria, Babylonia and the end of the Israelite people. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3110 6.00.

Expanded course description:  Investigations include methodological limitations; Old Testament, archaeology and history; Israel's origins; the settlement in Canaan; Philistia;the United Kingdom; the twin kingdoms; Assyria and Babylonia: how the Israelite people became the Jewish nation.

Among the issues to be considered are the strengths and limitations of archaeological interpretation, Biblical narrative, and primary written sources.  Against this background, Israel’s political history from the end of the Late Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age is examined with special emphasis on geopolitical phenomena.

Required readings will accompany almost every lecture.  These include extensive Biblical material (Tanakh: A New Translation of the Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text.), a textbook ( J. Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes,  A History of Ancient Israel and Judah [second edition]), atlas maps and texts ( Barry Beitzel,  The New Moody Atlas of the Bible), and miscellaneous scholarly essays.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

First essay: 20%
Second essay: 30%
Mid-term exam: 20%
Final exam: 30%



AP/HIST 3125 3.0A (FALL): Sport and Society in Ancient Greece

Course Director:  J. Trevett, 2180 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x30409, jtrevett@yorku.ca

This course studies the place of athletic competition in ancient Greek society, with a particular focus on the Archaic and Classical periods (eighth - fourth centuries BC) and on the panhellenic games, of which the Olympic Games were the most important. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3125 3.00.

AP/HIST 3131 6.0A: Rome and Empire: War to Pax Romana

Course Director:  B. Kelly, 2190 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x30415, benkelly@yorku.ca

Topics considered include the nature of Roman imperialism, the mechanism of Roman conquest, the emergence of a system of provincial administration and the social, economic and cultural impact of conquest on Roman and provincial societies. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3131 6.00.

AP/HIST 3135 3.0M (WINTER): Spectacle and Society in Ancient Rome

Course Director:  J. Edmondson, 2178 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x30417, jedmond@yorku.ca

This course traces the development of gladiatorial presentations, chariot-races and other public spectacles in Rome, Italy and the Roman Empire from 200 BC to 400 AD. It concentrates in particular on their changing nature, scale and socio-cultural function. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3135 3.00.

AP/HIST 3212 3.0A (FALL): Society In Preindustrial Europe


Course Director:  T. Cohen, VH  2156, (416)736-2100 x66977, tcohen@yorku.ca

http://people.laps.yorku.ca/people.nsf/researcherprofile?readform&shortname=tcohen: This profile tells a lot about the professor’s very experimental approach to teaching, and lays out his research in the criminal courts of Renaissance Italy. It also shows off the Afghan hat his tv- journalist son brought back from Kabul.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ9f6Hl4dtw: When the professor won a President’s Teaching Award, York made a short movie where you can see some truly wonderful York students talk about working with him.

Special Features: There are many ways to approach social history. This year, we come at the subject via social control, a complex matter, as on the one hand the state controls society, top down, but at the same time, society, bottom up, also controls itself. We start in the Middle Ages, a time of weak states, and move towards the Renaissance, with ever stronger ones that take on some of the job of controlling, but not easily. And, as an experiment, we start with Iceland, an island state that famously had no state at all, just two weeks of raucous meeting by a river near a lake. To make this lesson work, we will “build an Iceland” in the class, via extended role play, and students will each have an Icelandic “self” with name, nickname, and temprament, which, from reading saga, they will have to build, writing us an avatar for shared class knowledge. All our “Icelanders” will have to sit with their “families” and the families will then have to solve saga-style problems. It is deep role play, lasting many weeks, and the professor is not in charge of where things end up. Our Iceland will have to solve its own problems, all on its own. We will have a law-speaker and a godi-priest, and slaves of both sexes, and each family will have its fortune, in sheepskins, at random. Deep play teaches deep lessons: I have seen it work.

Calendar Description: Issues and perspectives in the evolution of social life and structures in Europe between the demise of ancient society and the transformations which began in the 18th Century. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3212 3.00.

Expanded Course Description

The idea of the course: This course is an experiment for the professor. The larger subject is pre-modern European society. Now society is both a thing, and a set of processes. It is thing of a very complex nature, certainly, and its processes are always multiple: the control and distribution of material resources, and of immaterial ones like moral, cultural, and intellectual capital. So social history can study the distribution and circulation of goods, both tangible and intangible, and lay out the relationships that channel them in their movement. Or, to take the same issues but to look at who possesses these assorted assets, it can trace stratification, and clumping, and mobility.  And, in that connection, it can study conflicts over assets. But this social history, in our course, will take a different tack: it will focus on control, social control, in the widest sense. So it will approach social history through the lens of what social scientists call ‘disputes and settlements.’

Social control is a fascinating subject. Some control is conscious and intentional. Much, however, is reflexive, habitual, and often barely perceived. What force is it, for instance, that stops most professors from dying their hair blue? How many professors are even aware that such a subtle force exists? And what force inhibits students from blowing soap bubbles, singing camp songs, or turning cartwheels in class? Embarrassment is a powerful, subtle device for shaping behaviour.

Some social control comes from above: magistrates, decrees, police forces, and prisons control human behaviour, as do churches, schools, hospitals, convents, and guilds and boards and business managers. And other social control comes from below. And a third kind comes from inside the head, via conscience, an internalization of moral imperatives, or via fear of shame or embarrassment or scorn.

In premodern Europe, social control evolved, from an early time when states were rudimentary. Indeed, ‘state’ is a misnomer, for, say, medieval France or Poland; it is a modern term with connotations of regularity and scale that thoroughly misfit those early times. To make Europe’s evolution from loose to tight, from informal to formal, as clear as possible, we start with medieval Iceland, a society almost without institutions, a case of social control by society itself. At the other end of the course and the semester, we arrive in early modern France, in a time of nascent absolutism. By what devices and what erratic pathway did Europe arrive at that latter point, at that stage in the meandering evolution towards top-down control, makeshift and incomplete as it then still was?

The books: They cost a bit more than we all would wish. The consolation: they are all very good books and we will work them hard. We have five, and we read them all, from end to end. We also have some articles on the WebCT.

The book list (in order of use):

Njal’s Saga, Penguin, 2001, ISBN 978 0 140 44769 9 (note: avoid older Penguin editions with different pagination).

William Ian Miller, Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law and Society in Saga Iceland, University of Chicago Press, 1990

Po-Chi Hsia, Trent 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial, Yale University Press, 1992

Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze, Yale University Press, 2004

James R. Farr, A Tale of Two Murders, Duke University Press, 2005

Operating principles: I have three: honesty, trust, community.

Honesty: The University wants all courses to remind students of the importance of intellectual honesty. No plagiarism is allowed. But this course is beyond plagiarizable; the assignments are quirky and very personal. There is no way to pull them off the web. Fine! But honesty still matters, as a general stance, mine with you and yours with all of us.

Trust: This, for me as a professor, is a basic operating principle. I like trusting my students. I consider their word golden. Thus, I respect what they tell me and to treat it as true. As a result, I never ask for doctors’ notes and other proof of problems. If there is a problem, just tell me. I ask no details. “I was away for good reason” suffices. But, to be prudent, do get doctors’ notes if you need them for York’s officialdom. (Social control of students!)

Community: This one is crucial for all of us. Learning is not something I dump on students, like gravel down a chute, but a thing that professor and students produce by working together as a group. Accordingly, ‘being there’ is crucial. Everybody has to come, bring the books, read the books, and plug in the head to what is going on in class. So, I ban not only all telephones and text-messengers (as is usual in classes) but also all laptops unless we all agree it is time to fish them out and look things up. No laptops! You bet! But people live these days on their laptops. Indeed they do, and they email and facebook and play solitaire and review pictures of last Saturday’s party and watch TV and movies and home videos and download music and write papers for other courses and buy tickets to Cancun and, well, all sorts of things, and more and more they do it in the middle of class. So? So shut the machines and join the group. End of story! The only exceptions are ‘special needs.’ If so, see me.

Lecture notes on Moodle

I will be posting write-ups of lectures and of what we say in class on Moodle. That fact should reduce worries about how to take notes without the laptop open. On the other hand, I will not be using webCT’s email or chat. I prefer to make a class listserv from the email addresses you most often access. So I want each member of the class to send me a greeting: tcohen@yorku.ca.

Work breakdown

7 log entries: 35%  (7 x 5%)
Njal paper: 15%
Final paper: 20%
Final exam: 20%
Participation: 10%

Logs: rules of the game: It is important to do the log before the class when we discuss the passage in question. So sign and date each log entry. No signature, no grade. I will be grading the early logs in mid-course, so that you receive some feedback as you build your log collection. A log entry should be about a page and a half to two pages long, double spaced. I give good grades for careful reading, careful thinking, independence of mind, and imagination.

AP/HIST 3234 3.0M (WINTER): Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe

Course Director:  M. Schotte, 2138 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x30418, mschotte@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: This course explores gender ideologies and their lived social and cultural meanings for women – and men – during modern Europe's foundational centuries, 1500-1800. Examines intersections between evolving cultural norms, familial roles, and women's varied activities in spaces outside the domestic household. Also considers gender in relation to major developments of the era – statebuilding, capitalism, overseas expansion, religion and the literacy revolution. Prerequisites: None. Course credit exclusions: AP/HIST 3233 6.00.

Expanded Course Description:  This course places a strong emphasis on engaging with primary sources, particularly those created by and for women. We will not only analyze their content but also read them aloud and examine them as physical objects in order to better understand their authors and audiences. This class will be run seminar-style, and strongly prioritizes engaged participation. The course includes a field trip to a local museum (with a related assignment on material objects as historical sources).

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Participation: 25%
Poetry recitation: 5%
Material culture analysis (3 pages): 20%
Primary source analysis (5 pages): 25%
Final exam: 25%

AP/HIST 3261 3.0M (WINTER): Creating Israel: the Zionist Idea, 1870-1948

Course Director:  K. Weiser, 754 Kaneff Tower, (416)736-2100 x33561, kweiser@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: This course studies the emergence of Zionism as a Jewish national movement in the 19th century, arguments for and against Zionism made in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the conflicts and debates among Zionist thinkers over their ideas and visions. It also examines debates about events leading to the birth of the State of Israel in 1948.

Expanded Course Description:
One of the most consequential and controversial events of the twentieth century is the emergence in 1948 of the State of Israel, the first Jewish state since antiquity, under the auspices of the Zionist movement. Drawing on both religious tradition and the concepts of secular modern nationalism, it promised to remedy Jews’ political and social ills– above all, antisemitism, assimilation, and the lack of self-determination – by undoing their 2000 year “exile” from their ancient homeland. Its goals and methods to establish a Jewish national home in Ottoman (later, British) Palestine and radically to reshape Jewish culture and identity met with both fervent support and vehement opposition among Jews and non-Jews.

By reading major voices for Zionism and their critics, we study the context for the emergence of Zionism as a Jewish national movement in the 19th century, arguments for and against it made in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the conflicts and debates among Zionist thinkers over their ideas and visions. We also examine efforts to realize these ideas. Topics include ideological antecedents to Zionism; Jewish nationalist and anti-nationalist alternatives to Zionism; Zionism as a secular rebellion against tradition; Zionism as messianic movement; the rejection of Diaspora Jewish culture and the creation of a new, Zionist culture; the revival of Hebrew; the place of Arabs and “Arab Jews” in Zionist culture; the movement for a bi-national Arab-Jewish state; the Palestinian critique of Zionism; historians’ controversy over the 1948 Arab-Israeli War; the relationship of Israel to the Jewish Diaspora.

A detailed syllabus will be available on the first day of class.

Readings include selections from a number of books and article including the following:

Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism. The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State

Arthur Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea. A Historical Analysis and Reader

Neville Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism Before World War One

Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness

Anita Shapira, Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force: 1881-1948

Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine

Students will understand the circumstances that led to the birth of the Zionist movement and events culminating in the birth of the modern State of I
Learn interpretive skills using primary sources and scholarly writing
Understand and evaluate arguments used in the construction of nationalist and anti-nationalist narratives

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Attendance and participation: 10%
Weekly multiple-choice quizzes based on readings (lowest quiz grade will be dropped): 15%
Midterm exam: 25%
Document Analysis & Discussion in its historical context, 1200-1800 words: 20%
Final exam: 30%

AP/HIST 3320 6.0A: Germany's Turbulent Past: from Napoleon to the Present

Course Director:  D. Neill, 313 York Lanes, (416)736-2100 x20365, dneill@yorku.ca

This course explores the history of modern Germany, a country shaped by the violence of two World Wars, the horrors of the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. We begin our discussion with the Napoleonic invasions, the rise of Bismarck, the wars of unification and a study of life in Imperial Germany. We then turn to exploring Germany's First World War, its disastrous aftermath, and the subsequent rise of Adolf Hitler. We will explore the Nazi era and the Second World War in detail and then turn to an analysis of the divided Germany, the Cold War, and the path to reunification in 1991. Our discussions will focus not only on war and politics, but also on social life, art and culture, religion and ideology. Course credit exclusions: GL/HIST 3680 6.00. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AK/HIST 3620 6.00, AS/HIST 3320 6.00, GL/HIST 3680 6.00.

AP/HIST 3356 3.0A (FALL): Greeks in the World. A History of Greek Migration and Diaspora in the 20th Century

Course Director:  A. Gekas,  2120 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x30423, agekas@yorku.ca

Special Features: Online course

Calendar Description: This course examines the history of migration from Greece to the United States, Canada, Australia, Africa and Europe in the 20th century and focus on the history of one of Toronto’s largest communities.Course Credit Exclusions: AP/HIST 3356 6.00 PRIOR TO 2009 Course Credit Exclusion: AS/HIST 3356 6.00

Expanded Course Description:
This course examines the history of migration from Greece in Europe, Africa, America and Australia from the end of the nineteenth to the twentieth century using case studies, concepts and theories of migration. Students will learn about the migration experience, the socio-economic factors as well as life-stories of migrants; the economic conditions and state policies in Greece and destination countries; and the institutional organization of immigrant communities. The course will also draw comparisons with the Armenian and Jewish diasporas that resemble the Greek experience. Other topics include: gender and generations of immigrants, repatriation and relations to Greece and xenophobia and racism as well as the depiction of the migration experience in literature and art.

Comparative approaches to the study of diaspora in North America enable students to understand the significance of migration in the past and relate their course material and discussions to the importance of migration today. Greece will serve as an example of a country that was a country of emigrants (up until the 1970s) but became a country of immigrants (in the 1990s), a trend that is again being reversed in the last few years. The course underlines the conceptual transition in the way we study the history of (Greek) migration from immigrant communities to ethnic / national diasporas and the politics and cultural interactions in the construction of diasporic identities.

A detailed course outline/syllabus will be provided on the first day of class.

Readings: Clogg, Richard (ed.), Greek Diaspora in the Twentieth Century (1999).

We will also study a number of other texts, official documents, photographs and primary sources to understand the experience of Greek migration and how its history has been recorded.

Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the main historical and historiographical issues on the history of Greek migration to Europe, Africa, America and Australia and write comparative essays on diasporas and the various destinations countries.

By the end of the course students will have a very good knowledge and will be able to discuss the main issues of the history of Greek immigration to North America, Australia and Europe in the twentieth century. Students will acquire a thematic, chronological and conceptual knowledge of the issues relating to the history of Greek migration and diaspora in the twentieth century and will be able to relate it to other courses on immigration (to North America for example). Students will also acquire factual knowledge of the fields of historical enquiry of Greek migration and diaspora, identify concepts methodologies and debates on the history of migration and diaspora by focusing on the ‘case’ of Greek migration and diaspora in the twentieth century.

History and non-History Majors will receive a thorough knowledge and understanding of the history of one of Toronto’s largest communities. Students will be challenged to write clear and effective essays drawing also on comparative methodology and using various sources and historical data, visual as well as written. The course will also connect with the ongoing and growing field of Public History that has been identified as one of the developing areas of historical enquiry and teaching at the Department of History and the course will include field trips to complement student learning experience. The visit to the York University Library Archives and the research workshop with material of the Greek Canadian History Project will enhance the experiential learning of students and give them a hands-on research experience of the study of Greek immigration to Toronto.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Participation and Class Blog: 20%
Book Review: 20%
First Essay: 30%
Second Essay: 30%

AP/HIST 3380 3.0A (FALL): Eastern Europe, 1772 to 1918

Course Director:  K. Weiser, 754 Kaneff Tower, (416)736-2100 x33561, kweiser@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: A survey of the emancipation from Turkish, Habsburg, Prussian and Russian empires of East European countries from the awakening of national consciousness in the 18th century to new arrangements at the end of the First World War. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3380 3.00.

Expanded Course Description:  This course surveys the lands, peoples, and states of Eastern Europe (an area roughly encompassing the countries stretching from today’s Poland to the Balkans) from the late 18th century until the end of WWI. The course focuses on the challenges of modernization and nationalism in the multiethnic and religiously diverse empires of this region, the causes of strife and warfare, and ultimately the collapse of four empires and the birth of a new political and social order in the region.

Reading selection will include excerpts from

John Mason, The Dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Josef Roth, Radetzky March
Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe
Theodor Weeks, Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia

Students will acquire familiarity with the ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity of Eastern Europe

Students will become acquainted with theories about nations and nationalism

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Student attendance and regular participation (i.e. contributing to class discussions), 15%
Map Quiz: 10%,
Midterm Exam: 25%
Book Assignment: 20%
Final Exam: 30%

AP/HIST 3381 3.0M (WINTER): Empires and Colonial Rule in the Modern Mediterranean

Course Director:  K. Weiser, 754 Kaneff Tower, (416)736-2100 x33561, kweiser@yorku.ca

Course Calendar Description: The "Successor States"; their interwar problems and successes; evolution during the Second World War; four decades of Communist rule; return to diversity in the 1990's. Course credit exclusions: GL/HIST 3275 6.00. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions:AS/HIST 3381 3.00, GL/HIST 3275 6.00.

Expanded Course Description:  The course begins with the impact of WWI and the emergence of republics in Eastern Europe from the wreckage of empires. It follows the internal and external challenges to countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and the Baltic States as they struggled to consolidate as chiefly national states in a decidedly multi-national region. It then turns its attention to Hitler and Stalin’s reorganization of the region during WWII, genocide and ethnic cleansing, and the subsequent Sovietization of those countries liberated by the Red Army. The last part of the course addresses the socialist regimes of Eastern Europe during the Cold War, the end of Soviet hegemony and the wave of democratic revolutions in 1989, ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia, memory of the Holocaust and WWII, and attempts by newly-sovereign states to join united Germany in a project for European integration.

Readings include selections from:

Joseph Rotschild, East Central Europe between the Wars
Gale Stokes, From Stalinism to Pluralism
Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands
Jan Gross, Neighbors
Timothy Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

Students will become familiar with the ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity of Eastern Europe. Students will become acquainted with a variety of political ideas, among them nationalism, federalism, fascism, communism, populism, and democracy.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Student attendance and regular participation (i.e. contributing to class discussions): 15%
Map Quiz: 10%
Midterm Exam: 25%
Book Assignment: 20%
Final Exam: 30%


AP/HIST 3386 3.0A (FALL): Cooperation, Competition, and Conflict: Jews and non-Jews in Eastern Europe, 1914-1945

Course Director:  K. Weiser, 754 Kaneff Tower, (416)736-2100 x33561, kweiser@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: Explores relations between Jews and other peoples in Eastern Europe before and during World War II and the Holocaust of the Jews. Course credit exclusions: None.

Expanded Course Description:
Following World War I, most European Jews found themselves living in states such as Poland, Lithuania, Rumania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia that emerged from the wreckage of the Habsburg and Tsarist Empires. A post-war democratic order that accorded recognition to the principle of national self-determination promised them and their non-Jewish neighbours unprecedented opportunities to fulfill political and cultural ambitions as both individual citizens and as collectives. The period between the two world wars was one of paralleled cultural and political vibrancy in Jewish life. It saw the intensification of competing trends within Jewish society –  among them, the clash between religious devotion and secularism, the development of rival nationalist and socialist movements, the striving for integration into the dominant non-Jewish culture alongside the growth of an autonomous modern cultural sphere functioning in Jewish and non-Jewish languages – against a backdrop of economic and political crises, new forms of antisemitism, and explosive tensions between national groups populating the region.

Beginning with a survey of life in the new states of East Central Europe in the 1920s and 30s, this course ends with an exploration the fate of Jews and their neighbours under Nazi and Soviet occupations during World War II. It focuses on developments within Jewish societies as well as relations between Jews and non-Jews in the region throughout this period, which culminated in the deaths of millions and the near complete obliteration of a centuries-old Jewish presence there.

Readings include selections from:
Lucy Dawidowicz, From That Place and Time
Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands
Alexander V. Prusin, The Lands Between. Conflict in the East European Borderlands, 1870-1992
Zvi Gitelman, A Century of Ambivalence

Students will become familiar with the cultural and national diversity of life in Eastern Europe prior to WWII.  Students will acquire an understanding of the circumstances leading to the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe during WWII.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Student attendance and regular participation (i.e. contributing to class discussions): 15%
Map quiz: 10%
Midterm exam: 25%
Book assignment: 20
Final Exam: 30%

AP/HIST 3395 6.0A: From the Defeat of Fascism to the Fall of Communism: Europe Since 1945

Course Director:  TBA

A survey of significant themes in European history from the end of the Second World War to the present day. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/HIST 3395 6.00, AS/HIST 3930X 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004).

AP/HIST 3420 6.0A: The British Empire from 1600 to the Present

Course Director:  TBA

This course surveys the history of the British Empire from 1600 to the present, from the founding of the East India Company, to dominant world power, to decolonization and independence, to imperial nostalgia. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/HIST 3680 6.00.

AP/HIST 3470 3.0A (FALL): Twentieth-Century London, 1918 to 2000

Course Director:  D. Cousins, 2127 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x40626, dcousins@yorku.ca

Analyzes the history of London, England, in the twentieth century. Topics include modernity in the 1920s, urban poverty, the development of multiracial London, urban government, the experience of the Blitz and terrorist bombing after 1945, 'queer' London and 'swinging' London, suburban development, gentrification, the decline of manufacturing and the redevelopment of the Docklands. Course credit exclusion: AP/HIST 3470 6.00.

AP/HIST 3533 6.0A: The History of Women in Canada

Course Director:  C. Wright, cynthiaw@yorku.ca

The political, economic and social history of women in Canada, from 1600 to the present. A thematic approach investigates commonalities and differences of women's experience. Course credit exclusions: GL/HIST 3690 6.00, GL/SOSC 3690 6.00, and GL/WMST 3690 6.00. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AK/HIST 2220 6.00, AK/HIST 3200 6.00, AS/HIST 3533 6.00, GL/HIST 3690 6.00, GL/SOSC 3690 6.00, and GL/WMST 3690 6.00.

AP/HIST 3535 6.0A: African-Canadian History

Course Director:  TBA

This course examines the history of African-Canadians from colonial contact in the 17th century through to the post-Second World War migrations from Africa and the Caribbean. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AK/HIST 3300 6.00, AS/HIST 3535 6.00.

AP/HIST 3546 6.0A: History of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Course Director:  TBA

Examines the history of Aboriginal peoples within the area known today as Canada, from "time immemorial" to the postwar period. Topics may include origin stories; oral traditions; interactions with colonial empires; participation in the fur trade; epidemic diseases and health strategies; indigenous spirituality and Christian missionaries; treaties; the Indian Act; residential schooling; reserve life; political resistance; and land claims. Course credit exclusions: None.

AP/HIST 3622 3.0M (WINTER): The U.S. Civil War in American History and Public Memory

Course Director:  W. Gleberzon, 041 McLaughlin College (416)736-2100 x77328, wgleber@yorku.ca

This course, which focuses on the years from 1840 to 1877, explores the causes of the U.S. Civil War, military strategy, and the aftermath of this conflict. Topics examined include slavery, politics, military history and the era of Reconstruction. Course credit exclusion: AP/HIST 3622 3.00 (prior to Fall 2014). Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3622 3.00.

AP/HIST 3692 6.0A: The United States in the World

Course Director:  TBA

This course examines the far-reaching impact the US has had on other nations as well as the ways that interactions with other nations have changed American society and culture since Independence, especially in the 20th century. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3692 6.00.

AP/HIST 3700 6.0A: Atlantic Encounters: Brazil, the Caribbean and Western Africa before 1900

Course Director:  R. Anderson, 321 York Lanes (416)736-2100 x33508, randerso@yorku.ca

Relations between Brazil, the Caribbean and Western Africa are studied from c. 1500 to the late 19th century, with an emphasis on the nature of the European Empires in Western Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean, the impact of colonial rule and neo-colonialism, and the varied responses of indigenous societies to both developments. Prerequisite: None. Co-requisite: None. Course credit exclusions: None.

AP/HIST 3710 3.0A (FALL): Reconstructing Society in the Post Slavery Caribbean

Course Director: D. Trotman, 326 Founders College, (416)736-2100 x33192, dtrotman@yorku.ca

Special Features: This course is recommended for students majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Calendar Description: This course examines the patterns of continuity and change in the institutions of post slavery Caribbean societies. The emphasis is on the processes of social re-engineering and cultural creation in the aftermath of nineteenth century slave emancipation. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3710 6.00; HIST 2730 6.00

Expanded Course Description:
The course begins begins with an examination of the different routes to emancipation (revolution, legislation, civil war) and then uses case studies (Haiti, the Anglo Caribbean with references to the French Caribbean, Cuba) to discuss the aftermath of the legal end of slavery.

ALL of the required and recommended readings for this course will be available ONLINE and posted on Moodle.

It is highly recommended that students who have not had an introduction to Caribbean history fill this gap with a reading of one or both of the following:

F.W. Knight, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism (Oxford, 1990)

B.W. Higman, A Concise History of the Caribbean (Cambridge, 2011)

The intended learning outcome of this course is to contribute to the intellectual development of students by developing a capacity for their ability
to read, comprehend, and discuss scholarly articles
to communicate their understanding of the content of scholarly articles in cogent prose
to understand and critically evaluate both public and scholarly debates surrounding historical events
to participate through blogs in online debates in a scholarly manner

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Mid term Essay and Final Exam: 60%
On line interventions (blogs and reading responses): 40%

AP/HIST 3736 6.0A: Indigenous Struggles in Latin America

Course Director: A. Durston, 2126 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x66962, durston@yorku.ca

Introduces students to the history of the indigenous peoples of Latin America from the Iberian conquests in the sixteenth century to recent times. Course credit exclusions: None.

AP/HIST 3771 3.0A (FALL): Modern Chinese History I

Course Director:  J. Judge, 2122 Vari Hall (416)736-2100 x20593, judge@yorku.ca

Special Features: Contributes to fulfillment of requirements for the various East Asian Studies Program degrees

Calendar Description: The process by which modern China emerged from the ruins of the traditional order, tracing the history of China from the early 19th century to the present. Course credit exclusion: AP/HIST 3770 6.00. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3770 6.00.

Expanded Course Description:  This course engages a crucial period in modern Chinese history, the first seventy years of what has become known in Chinese communist historiography as “China’s 100 years of humiliation” (1842-1949). We examine China’s often violent encounters with foreign powers beginning with the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century, encounters that fundamentally transformed China’s position in the world order and its sense of cultural self-sufficiency. We also study the equally devastating domestic rebellions—the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions—that further weakened the imperial state. We simultaneously explore China’s efforts to reassert itself and become a modern nation through the introduction of new technologies; political, administrative, and gender reform; and ultimately, revolution.

Our focus is not only on diplomatic and political developments but on the social, cultural, and intellectual changes that underpinned them. These include the culture and economics of opium consumption, the lived experience of the Taiping Rebellion, and the rise of the woman question as China’s last dynasty began to falter.

The core textbooks for the course are:

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China, W. W. Norton & Company, 3rd Revised edition, 2012.

Chen, Janet, Pei-kai Cheng, Michael Lestz with Jonathan Spence. The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection, W. W. Norton & Company, 3rd Edition, 2013.

We will also read:

Meyer-Fong, Tobie. What Remains: Coming to Terms with Civil War in 19th Century China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Together with the following articles or chapters:

Brook, Timothy and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, Opium Regimes : China, Britain, and Japan, 1839-1952, Berkeley : University of California Press, 2000 (selected chapters).

Cohen, Paul A. “The Contested Past: The Boxers as History and Myth.” The Journal of Asian Studies 51:1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 82-113

Elman, Benjamin. “Naval Warfare and the Refraction of China’s Self-Strengthening Reforms into

Scientific and Technological Failure, 1865–1895.” Modern Asian Studies 38:2 (2004), 283-326.

Qian, Nanxiu. Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China: Xue Shaohui (1866-1911) and the Era of Reform. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015 (selected chapters).

Rankin, Mary, “The Emergence of Women at the end of the Ch’ing: The Case of Ch’iu Chin.” In Margery Wolf and Roxanne Witke, eds..  Women in Chinese Society, pp. 39-66.   Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 1976.

This course will contribute to the program learning outcomes for a BA Major in History, an Honors BA Major, and a Specialized Honors BA Major in History by:

-providing students with factual knowledge of modern Chinese history; it covers the crucial seven decades leading up to the 1911 Revolution which put an end to 2000 years of imperial rule; a second course, Hist. 3772 will cover the period from the 1911 to the 1949 revolutions

-helping students understand processes of historical change over time

-explaining a number of the key historical developments in Chinese history and East Asian history

-raising awareness of the diversity of human experience in the Chinese historical context

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Class participation (engagement in class discussions, raising discussion questions at assigned intervals): 20%
Group Presentation: 10%
Paper: 30%
Final exam: 40%

AP/HIST 3781 3.0A (FALL): African Civilizations before Colonialism

Course Director: J. Curto, 315 York Lanes, (416)736-2100 x66965, jccurto@yorku.ca

This course explores the rise and fall of African Civilizations before the advent of formal European colonialism in the late nineteenth century. By emphasizing the "African Genious" in the making (and unmaking) of complex societies throughout the continent over millennia so as to dispel ahistorical notions of the so-called "dark continent". Prerequisites: None. Co-requisites: None. Course credit exclusions: None.

AP/HIST 3785 3.0M (WINTER): Africa and Europe in the Age of Colonialism

Course Director: J. Curto, 315 York Lanes, (416)736-2100 x66965, jccurto@yorku.ca

This course addresses the development of colonial empires across Africa and explores the interconnected histories of Africa and Europe from the French invasion of Algeria in 1830 to the period of decolonization in the1960s. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/HIST 3951 3.00.

AP/HIST 3829 3.0A (FALL): Antisemitism from the Enlightenment to the Holocaust and Beyond

Course Director:  D. Koffman, 757 Kaneff Tower (416)736-2100 x77395, koffman@yorku.ca

Special Features: This fascinating exploration in the history of hate is open to all students. It may be eligible for credit as an elective, or toward a major, minor or certificate in History, Humanities, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies.

Calendar Description: This course examines the evolution of anti-Jewish thought and behaviour as a response to the crisis of modernity. It examines the role of antisemitism in 19th- and 20th-century European ideological, political and socio-economic developments and the Jewish responses to antisemitism. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HUMA 3829 3.00.

Expanded Course Description:

What You Will Learn:
Britain’s former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks has suggested that “Anti-Semitism, the ‘oldest hatred,’ is ultimately dislike of the unlike—the fear mutating into hate of the stranger. ... Anti-Semitism, though it begins with Jews, never ends with Jews. It is the paradigm case of the hatred of difference.”  Like everything else, hatred has a history. This course explores the twisted intellectual and historical road of Jew-hatred in the modern period. We will treat topics including Christian anti-Judaism, the invention of the Jewish “race,” conspiratorial thinking, the Nazi path to genocide, and anti-Zionism, as well as some perhaps less suspecting aspects of anti-Jewish sentiment, including its relationship with homophobia, self-hatred, and philosemitism (love of the Jews). We’ll examine issues large and small: the forces that shaped the 20th century, as well as conflicts close to home, even on our campus.

How You Will Learn:
This is lecture course. It makes use of secondary literature, heavily supplemented by primary sources, including political and social essays, images and illustrations, websites as primary sources, videos and more.  The course will alternate between short lectures and chunks of time devoted to working through primary sources together.  The aims of this structure are twofold.  Firstly, we aim to develop a thorough, thoughtful and nuanced perspective on the history of modern anti-Semitism, and second, to developing some of the critical skills that historians use to ply their trade.

READINGS: The readings for the course are rich and engaging. We’ll read Phyllis Goldstein’s A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism, a book designed for accessibility by Facing History and Ourselves, as well as articles and chapters from books, custom tailored to our subject weeks. We’ll also set time aside during class hours for analyzing excerpts from original, primary sources – from scripture to tweet.

By the end of the course, you will have:

  • Acquired knowledge and insight so as to:
    • Be an active discussant in any debate about anti-Semitism
    • Be able to speak intelligently about the nature of Jew-hatred; its places in various cultures among non-Jews and its impacts on Jews
    • Be able to apply what you know about anti-Semitism to other forms of racism, prejudice and group-hatred.
  • Learned or improved the skills of a historian so as to:
    • Find and analyze primary sources to “make” history
    • Be able to engage with various formats of scholarly production
    • Write scholarly arguments that are relevant and well supported

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

  • Image Analysis: 10%
  • Journal Analysis: 15%
  • Book Comparison / Review: 20%
  • Ongoing Participation: 15%
  • Final Exam:  45%


AP/HIST 3838 6.0A: Social History of Modern Sport, 1850 - 2000

Course Director:  C. McMahon, cmcmahon@yorku.ca

Examines the social history of sport in urban, industrial economies from 1850 to the present. It explores how gender, race, class, sexuality and ability have influenced people's experiences with sport, and considers how sport has been used to express values like nationalism and imperialism, while also being used to promote social change and human rights. Course credit exclusions: None.

AP/HIST 3850 6.0A: Murder and Other Crimes: Law and Justice in 20th Century North America

Course Director:  TBA

This course examines the Canadian and American criminal justice systems in the 20th century. Though the main focus is on famous murder trials -- such as Sacco and Vanzetti (1923) and David Milgaard (1970) -- other well-known criminal trials are analyzed. Course credit exclusions: None. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 3850 6.00.

AP/HIST 3990 3.0A (F), AP/HIST 3990 3.0M (W), AP/HIST 3990 6.0A : Supervised Reading and Research

This course is normally open only to majors of exceptional ability (defined as a B+ or higher average in History) with the permission of the Chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Students may take no more than six credits under this course rubric.

To apply for permission to do History 3990, students must submit a formal application to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, normally at the beginning of Term.  Application forms (available in Vari Hall 2140) require: a brief course description and rationale; a proposed evaluation breakdown (at least 60% of the final grade must be based on written work); a list of relevant History courses completed and in-progress; a representative bibliography (with a minimum of 20 titles listed in standard academic format); and the name and signature of the supervisor (who must normally be full-time faculty in the Department of History).  Students are responsible for finding Department members willing to serve as supervisor.

The Chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies must be satisfied that the subject of History 3990 is demonstrably distinct and separate from that of any other course taken by the student.  History 3990 may be supervised by the instructor in another of the student’s courses.

The detailed programme of study will be determined by the student and the supervisor.  Students are expected to prepare a substantial amount of written work. The student’s final grade will be based primarily (at least 60%) on the assessment of the written work by the course.

Normally, in any one year, no instructor may supervise more than a total of three courses under the rubrics of AP/HIST 4000 6.0 (Honours Essay), AP/HIST 4990 6.0 (Supervised Reading and Research), or AP/HIST 3990 6.0 (Supervised Reading and Research).

  • Students may take directed reading courses only after having successfully completed (passed)
  • 24 credits in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
  • The maximum permissible number of directed reading courses depends on a student’s program type. Students in Honours BA programs may take 24 such credits; students in a BA program may take 18 such credits.
  • Within their last 30 credits, students may take a maximum of 12 credits in directed reading courses.
  • Students may take a maximum of 12 credits of directed reading courses with the same faculty member.