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Course 21H: History
Fall 2024


Introductory

21H.000 The History of Now
______

Undergrad (Spring)
Prereq: None
Units: 1-0-0 [P/D/F]
______
Exposes students to the study of history for a deeper understanding of the past, the present and the future by exploring current events in a historical perspective. Features guest lectures from experts inside and outside MIT. Subject can count toward the 6-unit discovery-focused credit limit for first-year students; preference to first-year students.
C. Capozzola

21H.001 How to Stage a Revolution
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores fundamental questions about the causes and nature of revolutions by looking at how people overthrow their rulers and establish new governments. Considers a set of major political transformations throughout the world and across centuries to understand the meaning of revolution and evaluate its impact. Examines how revolutionaries have attempted to establish their ideals and realize their goals. Asks whether radical upheavals require bloodshed, violence, or even terror. Seeks to explain why some revolutions succeed and others fail. Materials include the writings of revolutionaries, declarations and constitutions, music, films, art, novels, memoirs, and newspapers.
Staff

21H.007[J] Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Studies
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 21L.014[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the fascinating history, culture, and society of the ancient and medieval worlds and the different methodologies scholars use to interpret them. Wrestles with big questions about the diversity of life and thought in pre-modern societies, the best ways to study the distant past, and the nature (and limitations) of knowledge about long-ago eras. Considers a wide range of scholarly subjects such as the rise and fall of the Roman empire, the triumph of Christianity and Islam, barbarian invasions and holy wars, courts and castles, philosophy and religion, and the diversity of art, literature, and politics. Ponders different types of evidence, reads across a variety of disciplines, and develops skills to identify continuities and changes in ancient and medieval societies.
Staff

21H.009 World History and Its Fault Lines Since 1800
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR9.30-11 (56-180)
______
Explores how the world, as we know it today, came to be. Examines what it means to be modern and the consequences of modernity on people's everyday lives. Introduces real and perceived changes that made the world recognizably "modern." Surveys the rise of empires, nation-states, industrialized economies, mass consumption, popular culture, and political ideas and movements, and studies how they resulted in new, often contested, dynamics of racial, class, religious, gendered, and political identity. Instruction provided in how the evolving relationships of people with political, social, and economic structures produced a world that is highly interconnected and, at the same time, divided along different fault lines.
S. Aiyar, H. Nagahara
No required or recommended textbooks

21H.061 The History of American Presidential Elections
______

Undergrad (Fall); first half of term
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-3
______
Introduces the main themes and topics in the history of presidential elections from 1788 to the present. Explores structures of the US executive branch, the primary, convention, and election systems, and the Electoral College. Students examine academic debates in history and other social sciences, and write short papers on historical and contemporary topics. Meets with 21H.203 when offered concurrently. 21H.061 is offered only in an election year (not for HASS credit) and covers the first half of the course, leading up to election day.
C. Capozzola

21H.090 Digital Humanities Laboratory
______

Undergrad (Spring) Institute Lab Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: 6.100A
Units: 2-2-8
______
Combines research in HASS fields with computational methods of analysis, data collection, and presentation. Rotates to a different research project within SHASS each offering and meets with a research seminar taught by the PI of that project. Students work in teams to produce original computational research within the existing project, in collaboration with the research staff of the Programs in Digital Humanities. Leverage techniques from a wide range of practices including natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning, and web development. Repeatable for credit with permission of instructor. Limited to 25.
Staff

21H.101 American History to 1865
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
A basic history of American social, economic, and political development from the colonial period through the Civil War. Examines the colonial heritages of Spanish and British America; the American Revolution and its impact; the establishment and growth of the new nation; and the Civil War, its background, character, and impact. Readings include writings of the period by Winthrop, Paine, Jefferson, Madison, W. H. Garrison, G. Fitzhugh, H. B. Stowe, and Lincoln.
Staff

21H.102 American History since 1865
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the social, cultural, political, and economic history of the United States, from the Civil War to the present. Uses secondary analysis and primary documents, such as court cases, personal accounts, photographs, and films, to examine some of the key issues in the shaping of modern America, including industrialization and urbanization, immigration, the rise of a mass consumer society, the emergence of the US as a global power, and the development of civil rights activism and other major social movements.
Staff

21H.106[J] Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies
______

Undergrad (Spring) Arts + Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 24.912[J], 21L.008[J], 21W.741[J], CMS.150[J], WGS.190[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Interdisciplinary survey of people of African descent that draws on the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. Connects the experiences of African-Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns. Includes lectures, discussions, workshops, and required field trips that involve minimal cost to students.
M. DeGraff, D. Fox Harrell, D. Wood

21H.107[J] From Yellow Peril to Model Minority: Asian American History to 1968
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.043[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR1-2.30 (14E-310)
______
Provides an overview of Asian American history between the 1830s and 1968 and  its relevance for contemporary issues. Covers the first wave of Asian immigration in the 19th century, the rise of anti-Asian movements, the experiences of Asian Americans during WWII, the 1965 immigration reform, and the emergence of the Asian American movement in the 1960s. Examines the role these experiences played in the formation of Asian American ethnicity. Addresses key societal issues such as racial stereotyping, xenophobia, ethnicity and racial formation, citizenship, worker activism, immigrant community building, the "model minority" myth, and anti-Asian harassment and violence. Taught in English.
Consult E. Teng
No required or recommended textbooks

21H.108[J] Sexual and Gender Identities in the Modern United States
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as WGS.110[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides an introduction to the history of gender, sex, and sexuality in the modern United States, from the end of the 19th century to the present. Surveys historical approaches to the field, emphasizing the changing nature of sexual and gender identities over time. Traces attempts to control, construct, and contain sexual and gender identities. Examines the efforts of those who worked to resist, reject, and reform institutionalized heterosexuality and mainstream configurations of gendered power.
Staff

21H.109[J] Gender: Historical Perspectives
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as WGS.303[J])
(Subject meets with 21H.983[J], WGS.310[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the definition of gender in scientific, societal, and historical contexts. Explores how gender influences state formation and the work of the state, what role gender plays in imperialism and in the welfare state, the ever-present relationship between gender and war, and different states' regulation of the body in gendered ways at different times. Investigates new directions in the study of gender as historians, anthropologists and others have taken on this fascinating set of problems. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
E. Wood

21H.130 The Ancient World: Greece
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: MW12 (3-133) Recitation: F1 (66-154) or F2 (66-154) +final
______
History of Ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the death of Alexander. Major social, economic, political, and religious trends. Homer, heroism, and the Greek identity; the hoplite revolution and the rise of the city-state; Herodotus, Persia, and the (re)birth of history; Empire, Thucydidean rationalism, and the Peloponnesian War; Aristotle, Macedonia, and Hellenism. Emphasis on use of primary sources in translation.
E. Driscoll
Textbooks (Fall 2024)

21H.132 The Ancient World: Rome
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
History of Rome from its humble beginnings to the 5th century A.D. First half: Kingship to Republican form; the conquest of Italy; Roman expansion: Pyrrhus, Punic Wars and provinces; classes, courts, and the Roman revolution; Augustus and the formation of empire. Second half: Virgil to the Vandals; major social, economic, political and religious trends at Rome and in the provinces. Emphasis on use of primary sources in translation. Enrollment limited.
W. Broadhead

21H.133 The Medieval World
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR9.30-11 (4-257)
______
Investigates the dynamic history of Europe and the wider world between the late Roman empire and voyages of discovery. Examines the rise of Christianity, the cult of the saints, and monasticism; the decline of the Roman empire, the barbarian invasions, and the foundation of post-Roman kingdoms; the meteoric rise of Islam; the formation of the Carolingian, Byzantine, and Islamic empires; the Vikings and Mongols; castles, knights, and crusades; religious thinkers, reformers, and heretics; changes in art, architecture, and literature; the Black Death and the fall of Constantinople; the Italian Renaissance and the voyages of discovery.
E. Goldberg
No textbook information available

21H.134[J] Medieval Economic History in Comparative Perspective
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 14.70[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Surveys the foundations of material life and changing social and economic conditions in medieval Europe in their broader Eurasian context. Covers the gradual disintegration of the Roman imperial order, the emergence and decline of feudal institutions, the transformation of peasant agriculture, living standards and the impact of climate and disease environments, and the ebb and flow of long-distance trade across the Eurasian system. Particular emphasis on the study of those factors, both institutional and technological, which contributed to the emergence of capitalist organization and economic growth in western Europe in comparison to the trajectories followed by the other major medieval economies.
A. McCants

21H.135 J.R.R. Tolkien: Scholar, Author, and Thinker
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: W EVE (7-10 PM) (E51-372)
______
Explores how an Oxford professor of medieval philology and literature wrote the most influential work of fantasy, The Lord of the Rings. Investigates how Tolkien's scholarship on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English, fascination with inventing languages, experiences during the First World War, and Catholic faith shaped the creation of his fantasy world often (mistakenly) called Middle Earth. Examines Tolkien's books within the context of his life, scholarship, ideas, and beliefs to uncover how an author of fantasy literature helped shape the image of the Middle Ages in the modern popular imagination. Considers the extent to which film adaptations do justice to the complexity of Tolkien's stories, themes, and characters.
E. Goldberg
No textbook information available

21H.141 Renaissance to Revolution: Europe, 1300-1800
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides an introduction to major political, social, cultural and intellectual changes in Europe from the beginnings of the Renaissance in Italy around 1300 to the outbreak of the French Revolution at the end of the 1700s. Focuses on the porous boundaries between categories of theology, magic and science. Examines how developments in these areas altered European political institutions, social structures, and cultural practices. Studies men and women, nobles and commoners, as well as Europeans and some non-Europeans with whom they came into contact.
Staff

21H.143[J] The "Making" of Modern Europe: 1789-Present
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.056[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.356)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: MW11-12.30 (56-191)
______
Provides an overview of European history from 1789 to the present. Explores how the ideas of "European" and "modern" have been defined over time. Explores major events and the evolution of major tensions and issues that consumed Europe and Europeans through the period, including questions of identity, inclusion/exclusion, religion, and equality. Places major emphasis on the fiction, visual culture, and films of the century as the products and evidence of political, social and cultural change. Taught in English.
E. Kempf

21H.144[J] Introduction to Russian Studies
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.087[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores Russian culture and society by analyzing its unique position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia throughout medieval, Imperial, Soviet, and contemporary periods. Investigates a variety of topics: defining the borders of the country and shaping its relationship with the outside world; changes in living spaces from rural to urban, development of cultural centers; and daily life, customs, and traditions. Includes readings in literature, history, and cultural studies, as well visual arts, music, and film. Limited to 25.
E. Wood, M. Khotimsky

21H.145[J] French Photography
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 4.674[J], 21G.049[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Introduces students to the world of French photography from its invention in the 1820s to the present. Provides exposure to major photographers and images of the French tradition and encourages students to explore the social and cultural roles and meanings of photographs. Designed to help students navigate their own photo-saturated worlds; provides opportunity to gain practical experience in photography. Taught in English. Enrollment limited.
C. Clark

21H.151 Dynastic China
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: MW3.30-5 (4-149)
______
Examines the first dynasty to 1800. Traces the rise of the world's first centralized bureaucratic state, the development of the world's oldest living written culture, and the formation of the pre-modern world's largest single commercial market. Studies women and men as they founded dynasties, engaged in philosophy, challenged orthodoxies, and invented technologies used around the globe. Explores China's past to understand the country's present, and reflects on what its stories mean for the global world.
T. Brown
No textbook information available

21H.152 Modern China
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Discusses China's emergence as a global power, which has arisen out of two centuries of significant change. Explores those transformations from 1800 to the present by examining the advent of foreign imperialism in the nineteenth century, the collapse of the last imperial dynasty in 1911, China's debilitating war against Japan, the communist revolution, and the tumultuous history of the People's Republic of China from 1949. Addresses the historical transformations that have shaped contemporary Chinese politics, ethnicity, gender, environment, economics, and international relations.
T. Brown

21H.154 Inventing the Samurai
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with 21G.554)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the historical origins of the Japanese warrior class as well as its reinvention throughout the archipelago's history. Special focus on the pre-modern era (200-1600 CE). Highlights key historical contexts including the rise of the imperial court, interactions with the broader world, and the establishment of a warrior-dominated state. Also considers the modern imaginations and uses of the warrior figure.
H. Nagahara

21H.155 Modern Japan: 1600 to Present
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with 21G.555)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Surveys Japanese history from the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603 to the present and explores the local and global nature of modernity in Japan. Highlights key themes, including the emergence of a modern nation-state, the rise and fall of the Japanese Empire, the development of mass consumer culture and the middle class, and the continued importance of historical memory in Japan today.
H. Nagahara

21H.156[J] Global Chinese Food: A Historical Overview
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.045[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Introduces the history of Chinese food around the world. Illustrates how the globalization of Chinese food is deeply connected to Chinese migration patterns, expansion of Western influence in Asia, Chinese entrepreneurship, and interethnic relations in places of Chinese settlement. With an overview of earlier periods in Chinese history, focuses on the 18th through 20th centuries, specifically on major events in modern world history that affected the availability and demand for Chinese food. Considers environmental issues in relation to China's changing food systems. Includes a mandatory field trip to Boston Chinatown. Taught in English. Limited to 30.
Staff

21H.157 Modern South Asia
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the political, social, and economic history of South Asia from the 18th century to the present day. Topics include colonial rule; anti-colonial movements; nationalism and the creation of modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; the post-colonial nation state; social movements; religious identity; involvement of the United States in the region; and economic development. Students develop an understanding of the current successes, failures, and challenges facing the people and states of contemporary South Asia from a historical perspective.
S. Aiyar

21H.160 Islam, the Middle East, and the West
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides students with an overview of basic themes and issues in Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the present, with an emphasis on exchanges and encounters between the Middle East and Europe/North America. Examines the history of the notion of "East" and "West;" the emergence of Islam and the Christianization of Europe; Ottoman expansion; the flourishing of European powers; European competition with and colonization of Middle Eastern societies, and Middle Eastern responses, including Arab and Iranian nationalisms as well as the rise of Political Islam, the "Clash of Civilizations", and Islamophobia.
P. Alimagham

21H.161 The Modern Middle East
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Surveys the history of the Middle East, from the end of the 19th century to the present. Examines major political, social, intellectual and cultural issues and practices. Focuses on important events, movements, and ideas that prevailed during the last century and affect its current realities. Enrollment limited.
P. Alimagham

21H.165 A Survey of Modern African History
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR11-12.30 (56-167)
______
Surveys the history of 19th- and 20th-century Africa. Focuses on the European conquest of Africa and the dynamics of colonial rule, especially its socioeconomic and cultural consequences. Looks at how the rising tide of African nationalism, in the form of labor strikes and guerrilla wars, ushered out colonialism. Examines the postcolonial states, focusing on the politics of development, recent civil wars in countries like Rwanda and Liberia, the AIDS epidemic, and the history of Apartheid in South Africa up to 1994.
K. Mutongi
No textbook information available

21H.170[J] Introduction to Latin American Studies
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 17.55[J], 21A.130[J], 21G.084[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.784)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR11-12.30 (66-154)
______
Examines contemporary Latin American culture, politics, and history. Surveys geography, economic development, and race, religion, and gender in Latin America. Special emphasis on the Salvadoran civil war, human rights and military rule in Argentina and Chile, and migration from Central America and Mexico to the United States. Students analyze films, literature, visual art, journalism, historical documents, and social scientific research.
T. Padilla
No textbook information available

21H.172[J] Latin America Through Film
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.078[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Traces Latin American history through film and analyzes how this medium represents events in the recent and distant past. Weekly movies provide a window through which to analyze themes such as colonialism, national formation, revolution, gender, race relations, popular mobilizations and counterinsurgency. Examines films for how they represent a particular group or country, the reality they capture or obscure, and the message they convey.
T. Padilla

21H.173 Socialism in Latin America, from Che Guevara to Hugo Chavez
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores various socialist projects in the Americas. Studies how Latin America's poor have supported socialism as an alternative to capitalist exploitation, as a strategy to break colonial vestiges, and an anti-imperialist ideology. Focuses on various case studies to address the meaning of socialism, how governments have implemented socialism and who has fought against it. Explores how socialism has attempted to address women's rights and combat racism, and how socialist projects have extended beyond national borders.
T. Padilla

21H.181[J] Libertarianism
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 17.035[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the history of the ideal of individual liberty in light of contemporary arguments over the proper scope of the regulatory state. Surveys the political theory of freedom and its relationship to other dominant norms (e.g., property, equality, community, republicanism, innovation, and the pursuit of wealth). Revisits the diversity of modern libertarian movements with attention to issues such as abolitionism and the Civil Rights revolution, religious liberty, the right to bear arms, and LGBTQ rights. Concludes with a set of policy and legal/constitutional debates about the role of government in regulating the financial markets, artificial intelligence, and/or the internet.
M. Ghachem

21H.185[J] Environment and History
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 12.386[J], STS.031[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focusing on the period from 1500 to the present, explores the influence of climate, topography, plants, animals, and microorganisms on human history and the reciprocal influence of people on the environment. Topics include the European encounter with the Americas, the impact of modern technology, and the current environmental crisis. Enrollment limited.
Staff

21H.186 Nature and Environment in China
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: T2-5 (E51-390)
______
Focuses on the late imperial period with forays into the modern area. Explores how Chinese states and people related to and shaped their environments, which, in turn, shaped China. Considers the degree to which China's long environmental history has integrated with global trends and ponders the historical experiences and precedents we bring to today's environmental challenges. Explores the diverse ways in which scholars study China's environmental history and conceptions of nature, including the use of digital humanities tools for visualizing data and analyzing geography.
T. Brown
No textbook information available

21H.187 US Environmental Governance: from National Parks to the Green New Deal
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the interwoven threads of politics, economics, and the environment in the 20th century.  Examines topics such as preservation, conservation, national park creation, federal projects, infrastructure, economic growth, hydrocarbon society, international development, nuclear power, consumer rights, public health crises, environmentalism, Earth Day, globalization, sustainability, and climate change.  Studies how politics, economics, and environment converged in modern U.S. history, the "Green New Deal" and how its role promoting economic growth conflicts with its commitments to environmental management, and the emergence of the environmental movement.
M. Black

Intermediate

21H.201 The American Revolution
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
English and American backgrounds of the Revolution; issues and arguments in the Anglo-American conflict; colonial resistance and the beginnings of republicanism; the Revolutionary War; constitution writing for the states and nation; and effects of the American Revolution. Concerned primarily with the revolutionary origins of American government and laws. Readings emphasize documents from the period--pamphlets, correspondence, the minutes or resolutions of resistance organizations, constitutional documents and debates.
M. Kars

21H.203 The History of American Presidential Elections
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Introduces the main themes and topics in the history of presidential elections from 1788 to the present. Explores structures of the US executive branch, the primary, convention, and election systems, and the Electoral College. Students examine academic debates in history and other social sciences, and undertake a research project based on a past election of their choosing. Meets with 21H.061 when offered concurrently. 21H.061 is offered only in an election year (not for HASS credit) and covers the first half of the course, leading up to election day.
C. Capozzola

21H.205[J] The Civil War and the Emergence of Modern America: 1861-1890
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as STS.027[J])
(Subject meets with STS.427)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Using the American Civil War as a baseline, considers what it means to become "modern" by exploring the war's material and manpower needs, associated key technologies, and how both influenced the United States' entrance into the age of "Big Business." Readings include material on steam transportation, telegraphic communications, arms production, naval innovation, food processing, medicine, public health, management methods, and the mass production of everything from underwear to uniforms – all essential ingredients of modernity. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
M. R. Smith

21H.211 The United States in the Cold War Era
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the culture that developed in the US during the early years of the Cold War, at the dawn of the nuclear age. Topics include new family structures and civil defense strategies that emerged in response to the promise and perils of nuclear power; the role of anxiety and insecurity in transforming American politics and psychology; the development of computing technology and the changes it brought to American workspaces; the social impacts of space exploration, suburbanization, and the construction of highways and shopping malls; and new models used by social scientists and other experts to predict human behavior and the future.
C. Horan

21H.213[J] The War at Home: American Politics and Society in Wartime
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 17.28[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the relationship between war and domestic politics in the US since the start of 20th century. Students engage in historical and social scientific research to analyze the ways that overseas military commitments shaped US political institutions, and how domestic politics has in turn structured US engagements abroad. Moving chronologically from World War I to the Iraq War, subject draws on materials across the disciplines, including political documents, opinion polls, legal decisions, and products of American popular culture.
A. Berinsky, C. Capozzola

21H.214 War and American Society
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines how issues of war and national security have affected politics, economics, and society from the First World War to the war in Iraq. Draws on historical evidence as well as representations in film, music and popular culture.
C. Capozzola

21H.217[J] American Urban History
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 11.013[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 2-0-7
______
Seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. Focuses on readings and discussions.
Staff

21H.218[J] History of the Built Environment in the US
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 11.014[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 2-0-7
______
Seminar on the history of selected features of the physical environment of urban America. Among the features considered are parks, cemeteries, tenements, suburbs, zoos, skyscrapers, department stores, supermarkets, and amusement parks.
Staff

21H.220[J] Metropolis: A Comparative History of New York City
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 11.150[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the evolution of New York City from 1607 to the present. Readings focus on the city's social and physical histories. Discussions compare New York's development to patterns in other cities.
C. Wilder

21H.226[J] Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 11.015[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on a series of short, complicated, traumatic events that shed light on American politics, culture, and society. Events studied may include the rendition of Anthony Burns in 1854, the most famous fugitive slave controversy in US history; the Homestead strike/lockout of 1892; the quiz show scandal of the 1950s; and the student uprisings at Columbia University in 1968. Emphasis on finding ways to make sense of these events and on using them to understand larger processes of change in American history.
Staff

21H.227 History of the US Supreme Court
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Exploration of the historical development of constitutional law and the relationship between the Supreme Court and broader social, political, and cultural trends. Introduces major themes and patterns of change in American constitutional law since 1787, including federal-state relations, racial and gender equality, economic regulation, and civil liberties. Readings consist of original court cases, especially from the US Supreme Court, including cases of the current term.
C. Capozzola

21H.228 American Classics
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Students read, discuss, and write about critical works in American history from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Includes writings by early Puritan writers, Franklin, Paine, Jefferson, and Madison; Lewis and Clark; Frederick Douglass; Harriet Beecher Stowe; the Lincoln-Douglas debates; U. S. Grant, W. E. B. Dubois, Andrew Carnegie, Horatio Alger, F. D. Roosevelt, Betty Friedan, and Martin Luther King, Jr. May also include music, recorded speeches, television programs, visual images, or films. Enrollment limited.
C. Wilder

21H.229 The Black Radical Tradition in America
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on American history from the African-American perspective. Includes alternative visions of the nation's future, and definitions of its progress, that have called for a fundamental restructuring of political, economic and social relations. Introduces events, figures and institutions that have shaped African-American history, from the struggles to dominate the African coast and the emergence of a modern slave trade, through the fall of the Western slave societies. Also examines the experiences of Africans in other parts of North America, as well as South America and the Caribbean.
C. Wilder

21H.230 Barbarians, Saints, and Emperors
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the late Roman Empire and its transformations during Late Antiquity (c.300-c.700). Questions the traditional decline and fall narrative of the period, which argues that Christianity and barbarians destroyed classical civilization and ushered in the Dark Ages. Explores such topics as Romans and barbarians, paganism and Christianity, politics and war, Rome and Constantinople, and bishops and saints. Discusses the influence of such characters as Constantine the Great, St. Augustine, Attila the Hun, and the prophet Mohammed.
E. Goldberg

21H.237 The City of Athens in the Age of Pericles
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Historical topography of ancient Athens. Investigates the relationship between urban architecture and political, social, and cultural history of Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Surveys and analyzes archeological and literary evidence, including the sanctuary of Athena on the Acropolis, the Agora, Greek houses, the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, plays of Sophocles and Aristophanes, and the panhellenic sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia.
W. Broadhead

21H.238 The Vikings
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the complex relationship of the Vikings with the medieval world. Investigates the dynamics of Viking expansion, not only in terms of raiding and conflict, but also as a process of diplomacy, settlement, assimilation, and colonization. Examines developments within Scandinavian society such as state formation, social structures, trade, shipbuilding, slavery, urban growth, and Christianization. Considers the methodological difficulties presented by the diverse and often contradictory historical sources for information about the Vikings, such as chronicles, archaeology, coin hoards, stone inscriptions, and sagas.
E. Goldberg

21H.239 The City of Rome in the Age of the Caesars
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Historical topography of Ancient Rome. Investigates the relationship between urban architecture and the political, social, and cultural history of Rome from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD. Surveys and analyzes archaeological and literary evidence, including the Roman Forum, the Imperial fora, the palace of the emperors, the atrium houses of Roman Pompeii, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Polybius' history, Martial's Epigrams, and Vitruvius' treatise on architecture.
W. Broadhead

21H.240 The World of Charlemagne
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Investigates the world of the first medieval emperor, Charles the Great, or Charlemagne (768-814). Focuses on how Charlemagne and his dynasty, the Carolingians (ruled 751-888), forged a vast empire out of the diverse peoples and territories of Europe - not only through conquests and military might, but through Christianity and the Church, education and literacy, government and law, art and architecture, and a fundamental reorganization of the economy and society. Considers the enduring contributions of Charlemagne and his family to the formation of Europe as well as the shortcomings and failures of their empire.
E. Goldberg

21H.241[J] France: Enlightenment and Revolution
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.054[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the question of whether the French Enlightenment caused the French Revolution. Studies France prior to 1789, analyzes some of the most critically corrosive works of the French Enlightenment, and considers how ideas circulated through France and Europe in the eighteenth century. Examines the role of enlightened ideas in France during the revolutionary decade from 1789 to 1799.
M. Ghachem

21H.242[J] Frenchness in an Era of Globalization
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.322[J])
Prereq: One intermediate subject in French or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Approaches the question of what constitutes Frenchness in today's era of globalization through issues of memory, belonging, and cultural production. Explores the role of timeless traditions - common technologies, an internationally-spoken language, monuments open to the world, and foods such as wine and cheese - remain quintessentially French. Also covers recent scandals about France's role in the world, such as its colonial identity and Dominique Strauss-Kahn's New York debacle. Taught in French. Limited to 18.
C. Clark

21H.244[J] Imperial and Revolutionary Russia: Culture and Politics, 1700-1917
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.085[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Analyzes Russia's social, cultural, and political heritage in the 18th and 19th centuries, up to and including the Russian Revolution of 1917. Compares reforming and revolutionary impulses in the context of serfdom, the rise of the intelligentsia, and debates over capitalism. Focuses on historical and literary texts, especially the intersections between the two.
E. Wood

21H.245[J] Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society: 1917 to the Present
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 17.57[J], 21G.086[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR1-2.30 (4-253)
______
Explores the political and historical evolution of the Soviet state and society from the 1917 Revolution to the present. Covers the creation of a revolutionary regime, causes and nature of the Stalin revolution, post-Stalinist efforts to achieve political and social reform, and causes of the Soviet collapse. Also examines current developments in Russia in light of Soviet history. Enrollment limited.
E. Wood
No textbook information available

21H.247[J] Looking East/Looking West
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.050[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines how objects and images mediate encounters between people and helped define the "Orient" and the "Occident." Explores the visual and material culture as well as textual accounts produced by and consumed during encounters between European and Asian travelers, diplomats, artists, writers, and tourists since the seventeenth century. Considers the frameworks scholars have used to understand these encounters and how we might deploy those frameworks ourselves. Employs historical thinking to work on our skills of visual and cultural analysis. Questions how these legacies of material and visual exchange have shaped the community within Boston area.
C. Clark, H. Nagahara

21H.253[J] Global Chinese Migration, 1567-Present
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.075[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.196)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines Chinese migration in historical and comparative perspective, beginning in 1567 with the lifting of the imperial ban on private maritime trade. Covers migration to diverse venues across the globe, including tropical colonies, settler societies, Chinese frontiers, and postcolonial metropoles. Topics include the varied roles of Chinese migrants in these diverse venues, the coolie trade and anti-Chinese movements, overseas students, transnational networks, cultural adaptation, and the creolization of Chinese food in migrant communities. Critically examines the degree to which this transnational migration has produced a "Global Chinese" identity. Taught in English.
E. Teng

21H.260 Cities in the Middle East: History, Politics and Society
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the role and centrality of cities in the history of the modern Middle East, through political, social, cultural and urban interactions. Begins with a theoretical introduction of the different approaches for investigating urban spaces, and follows with discussions of case studies that demonstrate the diversity of urban centers in the Middle East, including Beirut, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Mecca, Algiers, and Cairo.
Staff

21H.261 Modern Iran: A Century of Revolution
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: MW2.30-4 (66-154)
______
Provides an overview of Iran's modern history from a social, cultural, and political perspective while also considering factors as they relate to gender and race. Covers the country's long and complicated interaction with the "West." Situates Iran in the wider region, thereby delineating how political trends in the Middle East influenced the country and how its history of revolution has in turn impacted the region. Unpacks the Sunni-Shi'ite divide as a modern phenomenon rooted more in inter-state rivalry than in a theological dispute, Western perceptions of the Iranian and the Middle Eastern "Other," the Iranian Diaspora, political Islam, and post-Islamism.
P. Alimagham
No textbook information available

21H.262 Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: TR1-2.30 (4-237)
______
Surveys the history and various realities and challenges of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Introduces the fundamental historical trajectories of the conflict. Analyzes the conflicting narratives and perceptions of both Palestinians and Israelis over key moments and issues in the conflict's history. Considers current challenges and possible solutions to the conflict. Limited to 40.
P. Alimagham
No textbook information available

21H.263[J] Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21A.138[J], WGS.220[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides an overview of key issues and themes in the study of women and gender relations in the Middle East and North Africa. Includes readings from a variety of disciplines, e.g., history, anthropology, sociology, literature, religious studies, and media studies. Addresses themes such as the relationship between the concepts of nation and gender; women's citizenship; Middle Eastern women's activism and the involvement of their Western "sisters" to this movement; gendered interpretations of the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad; and the three H's of Orientalism (hijab, harem, and hamam).
L. Eckmekcioglu

21H.265 Humanitarianism and Africa: A Critical History
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines two centuries of foreign interventions in Africa in the name of humanitarian principles, from the abolition of the slave trade to the most recent Ebola crisis in West Africa. Explores humanitarianism and how it informs the understanding of poverty, race, and violence; and who gives and receives aid. Scrutinizes the prejudices about Africans embedded within salvation projects and how these campaigns have been part of the larger dynamics of power that have defined Africa's position in the world before, during, and after the European colonization of the continent. Reflects upon the practical and morally ethical alternatives in a world still shaped by suffering and injustice.
K. Mutongi

21H.266 South Africa and Apartheid
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the spatial, legal, economic, social and political structures that created Apartheid in South Africa, and the factors that led to the collapse of the racist order. Examines the many forces of black oppression and the various forms of resistance to Apartheid. Themes include industrialization and the formation of the black working classes, constructions of race, ethnicities and sexualities, land alienation and rural struggles, township poverty and violence, black education, and the Black Consciousness Movement.
K. Mutongi

21H.267 Atlantic Slave Revolts
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the many ways enslaved people in the Americas resisted slavery, individually and collectively. Studies shipboard revolts, maronage, conspiracies, and armed uprisings. Investigates the causes and organization of rebellion. Uses the topic of rebellion to study how historians analyze and use primary sources, historical context, and write convincing prose. 
M. Kars

21H.268 Urban History in Africa
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the emergence of cities in sub-Saharan Africa, and traces major themes in the history of urban Africa. Examines urban Africans at work and leisure, including their popular culture and politics and the conflicts that arise from the cities' growth. Questions how the city emerged in Africa, what distinguishes African cities, and how urban Africans have responded to the dramatic historical changes and intense cultural interactions of African history (e.g. colonialism, industrialization, urbanization, globalization). Incorporates scholarly monographs and articles, African life histories, primary sources, fiction, and film to explore the variety of perspectives on urban history in Africa.
K. Mutongi 

21H.270[J] Latinx in the Age of Empire
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21A.131[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Analyzes the histories and presence of the Latinx population in the context of US territorial expansion, foreign intervention and economic policy toward Latin America. Combines both historical and anthropological approaches to analyze local conditions that lead people to migrate within the broader forces of international political economy. Pays attention to the historical context in the home countries, especially as impacted by US policy. Explores Latinx community dynamics, politics of migrant labor, relational formations of race and transnational forms of belonging. Historically and ethnographically seeks to understand structures of criminalization, activist practices of resistance and the development of deportation regimes.
H. Beltran, T. Padilla

21H.273 From Coca to Cocaine: Drug Economies in Latin America
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores how drug production and consumption has affected Latin America's political, cultural and economic life and shaped US foreign policy toward the region. Discusses the history of different psychoactive substances and analyzes why certain drugs became illegal. Pays particular attention to the relationship between strategies of interdiction, poverty, and drug violence. Limited to 35.
T. Padilla

21H.274[J] Creation of a Continent: Media Representations of Hispanic America, 1492 to present
______

Not offered academic year 2025-2026Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.731[J], CMS.357[J])
Prereq: One intermediate Spanish subject or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Traces the creation of a new literature in Spanish to record and interpret New World experiences. Begins with excerpts from Columbus's diary and ends with writings on the late 19th-century Cuban and Puerto Rican independence movements. Pairs some of these pre-20th-century texts with more recent literary and film interpretations of the first 400 years of Hispanic American history. Conducted in Spanish.
Staff

21H.281 MIT and Slavery: Research
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Add to schedule Lecture: MW11-12.30 (4-146)
______
Explores the influence of slavery and race on MIT's founding and early development, and the connections between slavery and the rise of sciences and engineering. Students will have their research projects published through the MIT and Slavery website. While 21H.281 and 21H.282 are sequential, students have the option of taking either or both.
C. Wilder
No textbook information available

21H.282 MIT and Slavery: Publication
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Students work on turning research from 21H.281 into publishable quality essays, researching images and other supporting documentary materials, and developing the main narrative of the MIT and Slavery website, for which they receive editorial credit. While 21H.281 and 21H.282 are sequential, students have the option of taking either or both.
Staff

21H.283 The Indigenous History of MIT
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Students work with MIT faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as faculty and researchers at other universities and centers, to focus on how Indigenous people and communities have influenced the rise and development of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students build a research portfolio that will include an original research essay, archival and bibliographic records, maps and images, and other relevant documentary and supporting materials. Limited to 15.
Staff

21H.284 South Asia, the United States, and MIT: Transformative Connections
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 2-0-10
______
Explores the longstanding connections between MIT and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal) since 1882. Investigates the history of MIT's alumni, faculty, and staff to examine the history of colonization and nation-building in South Asia, race and immigration in the United States, and globalization and technical revolutions across the world. Examines key historical moments of significance to both South Asia and America such as decolonization, the Cold War, and globalization as they intersected with the lives of MIT's South Asian affiliates. Instruction provided in historical methodologies through archival research and oral histories that are showcased in a final project. Limited to 18.
S. Aiyar

21H.285[J] Making the Modern World: The Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as STS.025[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Global survey of the great transformation in history known as the "Industrial Revolution." Topics include origins of mechanized production, the factory system, steam propulsion, electrification, mass communications, mass production and automation. Emphasis on the transfer of technology and its many adaptations around the world. Countries treated include Great Britain, France, Germany, the US, Sweden, Russia, Japan, China, and India. Includes brief reflection papers and a final paper.
M. R. Smith

21H.289 History Near and Dear: Writing Yourself into History
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Studies a broad range of writers who have investigated their family history or an instance of local history near and dear to their hearts. Examines questions about historical and emotional truths, memory and identity and place, and the ability of individual experience to illuminate a broader social and political history. Selected texts are simultaneously narrative nonfiction, investigative memoir, and cultural criticism. Students produce a paper investigating an aspect of their own family or local history. Exercises include workshops, peer-review, reflections, and revisions.
M. Kars

21H.290 Economic Classics: The History of Economic Ideas from Ancient Times to the Present
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with 21H.920)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Surveys the history of economics by introducing students to some of the most powerful and influential economic thinkers, from Xenophon and Huan K'uan through Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Paul Samuelson, to Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Explores the evolution of key economic concepts — the state and the market, natural resources, and crises — by situating them in historical context and perspective. Through the close reading, analysis and discussion of some of the most important texts in the history of economic thought, traces the development of ideas, norms and ways of thinking that continue to shape decision-making in both daily life and global policy. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
A. McCants


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Produced: 27-MAY-2024 05:10 PM