Spring 2020 History Courses

Interested in learning more about the U.S.’s history of immigration, migrant workers, capitalism, and activism? Want to understand the racial, political, and religious components involved in the migration of groups from the Mediterranean to the U.S.? Curious about histories you may not have explored before – the lives of “ordinary” people (not royalty) during the Middle Ages? If so, check out the following courses offered through the Department of History this Spring 2020! (Course descriptions below, course flyers attached to this email)


HSTAA 290 Migrant Worker Histories: Racial Capitalism, U.S. Empire, and Migrant Labor Activism

SLN: 21209

M/T/W/Th 12:30 – 1:20

This course examines histories of migrant workers in the United States from the Civil War to the present to explore the relationship between immigration restriction and the growth of the U.S. state. It asks, how have transnational labor migrations shaped and reflected U.S. power in the world? How have ideas about race, gender, and sexuality made some groups of workers vulnerable to deportation and exclusion at various times in U.S. history? And how have migrant workers formed solidarities across lines of race, ethnicity, and citizenship to pursue social justice in a globalizing economy? (I&S)


HSTCMP 270/JEW ST 270 Mediterranean Migrations

SLN: 15076

T/Th 10:30 – 12:20

How did the collapse of the Ottoman Empire impact Seattle? Are Middle Easterners "white"? How about Jews? When did the US enact the first "Muslim ban"? This course investigates how Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Mediterranean region encountered racial categories, immigration policies, definitions of citizenship and national belonging, and broader dynamics that linked Europe and the Middle East to the United States in the 20th century. (I&S, DIV)


HSTAM 203 Introduction to the Middle Ages

SLN: 15043

M/W 8:30 – 10:20

This course, stretching the catalogue description somewhat from the medieval to include the early modern period, introduces you to the people of pre-modern European history. Political history, battles, kings, queens, parliaments, and so on are not the subject. The subject is “ordinary” – and extraordinary – people, understood as an aggregate structurally and quantitatively and, sometimes, when sources and a bit of informed imagination permit, as individuals. How did they live? How did they die? How did they eat? How did they reproduce? What did they do when they weren’t working? How did they think about all this?

The basis for the course is Eileen Power’s 1924 book, Mediaeval People, a path-breaking work by a pioneering female historian. This will be supplemented by Arthur Imhof’s Lost Worlds: How Our European Ancestors Coped with Everyday Life and Why Life Is So Hard Today. Chapters from Power will structure most weeks, exploding the presentist attitude of much historical scholarship (‘If it’s not recent, it’s useless…’). Each week will include additional primary sources (historical witnesses) and complementary secondary sources (scholarly articles or chapters). (I&S)


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