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Special Topic Courses

Summer 2024 Special Topic Courses

HIST 100C: Century of Conflict

It goes without an argument, that the 20th century has been the most brutal and destructive one in human history. In this course, we are going to survey some of main as well as lesser known yet equally significant cases of human suffering and violence in the past 100 years. Additionally, we want to ponder on the questions of what roles modernity, the state (e.g. government) and the individual played in instigating and/or carrying out violence and causing devastation. To reach answers to these complex questions, we will be looking at case studies that span the entire globe. Conflict shaped the 20th Century, provoked by potent ideologies like nationalism, militarism and communism and reactions thereto such as decolonizing forces. These modern conflicts carried out by states and individuals shaped the modern world and their legacies are still felt today.

Early summer session: May 6-June 21, 2024
Online synchronous, Monday, 10:00am-12:50pm
In person, Wednesday, 10:00am-12:50pm
Instructor: Sebastian Huebel
CRN: 50290

HIST 396P: From the Cold Ward to the War on Terror: the United States since 1945

Course description - check back soon

Full summer session: May 6-August 2, 2024
Wednesday, 5:30-9:10pm
Instructor: Larissa Horne
CRN: 50111

HIST 398G: Life and Death in Traditional East Asia

Ideas and practices concerning life and death in East Asian religions examined in relation to historical structures and dynamics in premodern times. Themes explored include mind-body and cosmology, salvation and afterlife, and ritual and social order in Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and folk religion. 

Early summer session: May 6-June 21, 2024
Online synchronous
Thursdays, 10:00am-1:40pm
Instructor: Eiji Okawa
CRN: 50295

Winter 2024 Special Topic Courses

HIST 100G: Introduction to World History: Global History, 1870-1945

This course will examine some of the main currents of world history from the end of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. It will review affairs in Europe, but especially developments in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Examples of major topics include: the global reach of the world wars, imperialism, anti-colonialism, the rise of totalitarian states and fascism around the world - all key themes of the period under study. In each class we will usually discuss at least part of one chapter from the textbook as well as primary sources, whether text, art, music, or film.

In working with these sources, students will independently investigate the ways that history is created, preserved, and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past.

Wednesdays, 11:30-14:20
Instructor: Ian Rocksborough-Smith

HIST 499S: Under the Shogun: Social History of Early Modern Japan

This course examines the social and cultural history of early modern Japan. Places emphasis on the richness and complexity of social aspirations and experiences, as well as the arrangement of power that reproduced hierarchy while also fostering a vibrant popular culture.

Fridays, 10:00-13:40
Instructor: Eiji Okawa

Fall 2023 Special Topic Courses

HIST 100D: Ten Days That Changed History

This course will focus on ten days or events, across diverse time periods, cultures, and geographic places that proved transformative in their impact on human history; some of them obviously dramatic, some seemingly mundane at the time. Topics might include the rise or fall of states, empires, or religions, technological innovations, as well as economically, socially or culturally revolutionary movements. In examining these important events, students will be introduced to the practice of thinking historically and to the centrality of context, perspective and evidence in understanding the past and how it interacts with the present.

Wednesdays, 8:30-11:20am
Instructor: Scott Sheffield
CRN: 90795

HIST 398F: Family and Gender in Traditional East Asia

Family and gender are among the universalized social categories seen across time and space, but how did they shape the lives of people outside of the modern world and the Western civilizational sphere? How does an examination of historical gender constructions and experiences affect our perspectives? This course explores the social norms and dynamics surrounding gender in traditional East Asian societies including China, Korea, and Japan, focusing on values and ideologies, social structures, and agency.

Tuesdays, 13:00-16:40
Instructor: Eiji Okawa
CRN: 90817

HIST 499Q: Democracy and Citizenship, and Belonging in the United States

This course examines the changing and contested definitions of democracy and citizenship in the United States from the late 18th century to the late 20th century. Through a chronological and thematic approach, we will examine how membership in the American political and civic community has been defined over the years. We will look at legal, political, economic, and social definitions of citizenship and pay special attention to the dynamics of exclusion based on race, ethnicity, economic status, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. All these have fundamentally shaped the definition and exercise of one’s rights and obligations as a citizen of the United States.  

Tuesdays, 8:30-12:10
Instructor: Ian Rocksborough-Smith
CRN: 90824

HIST 499R: Selling Seized Properties: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians

Migrants from Japan created vibrant communities and enclaves in coastal British Columbia in the early decades of the twentieth century. Like other settlers, they took part in local industries, rented or bought homes, raised their kids, and lived amidst rich social networks. When Canada entered war with Japan in 1941, they were classified as “enemy aliens.” They were forcibly removed from their homes in the name of national security. At first, the government promised to protect their properties, but once they were confined in internment, it sold their homes and farms without their consent or even knowledge.

This course explores the implications of this policy that made no one safer yet devastated the lives of a racialized minority. Questions addressed include, 1) why did the Canadian government adopt the dispossession as a formal policy when its American counterpart did not? 2) how did government workers carry out the dispossession in their day-to-day work? 3) how did Japanese Canadians respond? And what did it mean for them to have and lose their properties? And 4) what does this history suggest about the dynamics of race, rights, and Canada’s modern property regime? In examining these issues, the course draws on the findings of a recent collaborative project on the dispossession of Japanese Canadians, Landscapes of Injustice and utilize various types of digitized primary sources.

Thursdays, 9:10-12:50
Instructor: Eiji Okawa
CRN: 90825


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