This course begins with the origins and consolidation of the Aztec, Inca and Iberian polities and ends with the severance of colonial ties. It combines an overview of the political economy of the region over three centuries with a study of how social groups interacted among themselves and with imperial rule over time through accommodation and conflict.
This interdisciplinary survey explores Soviet literature, art, theater, and film after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The course focuses on major cultural topics in and around the increasing pressure of shifting political landscapes, ideology, propaganda, the publishing market, and the role of the writer in Russian society.
In June and July 2017, students traveled to Athens and the island of Lesbos, notebooks and cameras in hand, to serve as eyewitnesses at a pivotal moment in world affairs. Their challenging assignment: Produce a compelling and rigorous first rough draft of history.
This course examines what makes certain spaces — a multi-ethnic suburb of Paris, a museum, or a building — more controversial or problematic than others. Students produce a body of journalistic work based on historical and archival research, interviews, investigation, and field work in Paris during spring break.
This creative-collaborative assignment is meant to give students an opportunity to engage critically with visual art and explore the ways it has been put to use to both re-frame and re-conceptualize the Caribbean’s catastrophic history. By coming together around the work of one of the Caribbean artists recently featured in the Small Axe Visual Life of Catastrophe project, students are asked to think about limits and potentials of visualizing disaster through art. How might the visual arts help us see history with new eyes? In what ways do these artistic works call upon us to look at our present differently—perhaps, not just as a moment in time but as the remains of an unending catastrophe? How might both of these practices of seeing and looking compel us towards a new kind of response, a new notion of responsibility or, even, an ethics that is informed by the unimaginable atrocities that still haunt our everyday life?
In History Beyond the Written Word: Unconventional Historical Sources and The Historian’s Craft. History 278 (Spring 2015), students conducted oral history interviews and collected other materials, researching history using unconventional sources.
In June and July 2016, students traveled to Athens and the island of Lesbos, notebooks and cameras in hand, to serve as eyewitnesses at a pivotal moment in world affairs. Their challenging assignment: Produce a compelling and rigorous first rough draft of history.
In the 1940s, pulp magazines and B-films created a new genre, eventually called Noir. On page and screen, hundreds of these crime stories—stark, vivid, and ambiguous—shaped the imagination and self-concept of a world beset by depression and fear. As societies shifted from hot to cold war and grappled with civil rights and urban decay, Noir depicted a dream-like world where morality turns fluid and money sours democracy.
Although the political outlook of Noir ranges widely, its core tension remains: crime and justice are mirror analogues, shadow selves of each other. We map Noir’s rise and spread, examine its treatment of race, class, and gender, and study its triumph as a major cultural style.
This course traces the intersecting discourses of race, nation, and disease throughout US history, examining various “living laboratories” or sites of state-sanctioned medical experimentation on populations such as Asian American, African American and Latinx, deemed to harbor disease.
Born in the late 1800s, the New Negro movement demanded political equality, desegregation, and an end to lynching, while also launching new forms of international Black cultural expression. The visionary modernity of its artists not only reimagined the history of the black diaspora by developing new artistic languages through travel, music, religion and poetry, but also shaped modernism as a whole in the 20th century. Incorporating field trips and sessions in the Princeton University Art Museum, this course explores Afro-modern forms of artistic expression from the late 19th-century into the mid-20th century.