Skip Navigation LinksHome / Academics / Academic Divisions / History and Society / Curriculum / Course Listings

History and Society Division Course Listings


  1 2   



Please note begin and end dates - This course will take place during the second half of the semester AMS3605 Water in America 2-credit advanced level course Water has shaped the development of America. America is what it is and Americans are where they are as a result of decisions that have involved water resources. Students in this advanced level Liberal Arts elective course will examine water issues in America and how that resource has shaped our settlement, history, economy, environment, transportation and politics. We will discuss water shortages and water wars in the West; the development and impact of the Erie Canal; the clean-up of Boston Harbor and other dirty stories; and the Bureau of Land Management and how it dammed the West. We will use great non-fiction writing and compelling films to explore the difficult choices America has faced and to examine how water issues have impacted Americans. Last but not least, we will investigate the environmental and sustainability challenges we are facing today and tomorrow. Prerequisites: Three Intermediate liberal arts (HSS, CVA, LVA)

2.00 credits



CVA2002 African American History and Foodways (HIS) 4 credit intermediate liberal arts The course covers the major periods, movements, and events that have shaped African American history and foodways. These include: the African slave trade; antebellum period; the civil war and reconstruction; World War I and the great migration; Harlem Renaissance and Garveyism; Great Depression; Spanish Civil War and World War II; Civil Rights and Black Power movements; industrialization, the growth of the prison industrial complex, and the "war on drugs." The course will also include content on African American foodways from the African slave trade to the Black Power movement. Classes discuss the assigned reading with lively student participation. Out-of-class work includes readings, online exams, attending lectures, artistic presentations, and films, as well as independent research. Prerequisites, RHT I & II and (AH & HS) or AHS

4.00 credits



CVA2010 Gender Studies 4 credit (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to gender studies. Designed as an intermediate course, Introduction to Gender Studies aims to identify and critically examine the interactive relationships among gender, cultural/social institutions, and individuals in contemporary American society. This implies two foci of attention. First, through readings and discussion, we will explore gender roles and resulting power inequities in contexts such as families, the music industry, conceptions of both race and sexuality, and novels. Equally important, we will analyze how the behaviors of individuals reflect, sustain and sometimes alter social conceptions of gender. In concert, these two emphases serve to underline the relationships among gender, culture, and individuals. Prerequisites: RHT I & II and Foundation (H&S and A&H) or AHS This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring, Summer or Fall

4.00 credits



CVA2411 Introduction to Western Culture 4 credit (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This cultural history course explores rational and non-rational ways of knowing in the Western tradition. We look at literature and art to focus upon four moments in the history of the West where these antithetical tendencies are conspicuous: Ancient Greece; the High Middle Ages; Europe during the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution; and the Early 20th Century. We read Greek tragedies by Aeschylus and Euripides, medieval romances such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and contemporary plays about the lives of Galileo and Luther. Essays by Freud and Jung frame our discussions. Prerequisites: RHT I & II and Foundation (H&S and A&H) or AHS This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Fall

4.00 credits



CVA2409 East Asian Cultures (Intermediate Liberal Arts) Welcome to Cultures and Values 2409, an intermediate level Liberal Arts course which will introduce you to the cultures of East Asia. This course builds on the themes and techniques in the H&S and A&H Foundation courses to analyze our subject using the materials and methodology of history pursued in an interdisciplinary manner. We will focus on the cultures of East Asia, China, Japan, and Korea; with thematic examples from ancient, medieval and modern periods. East Asia is integrated due to location and the influence that China had on the cultures of Japan and Korea. We will begin our study with the major ways of thinking in ancient China-Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, with some consideration of Legalism, and Militarism. The ethical structures, ideas, concepts and vocabulary in part one will inform and be assumed in our study of Japan and Korea. We will next study the uses of Chinese Ethics in Japan and Korea, Shinto in Japan, and Shamanism in Korea. Although these three cultures have elements in common, Japan and Korea developed in unique ways and in no way should be seen as pale imitations of Chinese culture. We begin our study analyzing written (Chinese) classical texts, which became classics throughout East Asia. These are elite cultural documents, but we will also consider their impact on popular culture. The fourth section of the course will consider East Asia as a cultural unit. We will interrogate the cultural constructions of identity and meaning in these cultures and the political and social contexts in which these were found. We will consider the impact of modernization and globalization, and the change and continuity within East Asian cultures. Some attention will be given to the cultural impact from and on the West. We approach this course through readings in philosophy, religion, anthropology, art, literature, film, and music. Prerequisites: RHT and Foundation H&S and A&H This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Summer

3.00 credits



CVA2415 Political Thought (Intermediate Liberal Arts) What is politics, and what does it mean to say that we are political actors, individually and collectively? On what basis might we view politics as a positive and/or negative force in our lives? This course addresses these and other questions about the meaning and practice of politics through close readings of classic political theory works, such as those by Thomas Hobbes, Niccolo Machiavelli and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and readings from more contemporary approaches, such as anarchist political theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. The course will begin with some basic concerns, about the role and meaning of citizenship, political community, and government. Upon this basis, we will read and discuss topics such as inequality, political resistance, the role of violence in politics, and any other pertinent issues discern from the work. This is a reading intensive course, and it will also explore political themes that can be drawn out of popular culture, such as films and television shows. Prerequisites: RHT and Foundation H&S and A&H This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring

3.00 credits



CVA2426 Immigrants, Race and the American Promise (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This intermediate course will consider the nature of American culture and identity through the experiences of the nation's immigrants and its ethnic citizens. What sacrifices have immigrants and ethnic Americans made in order to become members of the national community? How have they contributed to the development of modern America? How have they re-shaped the culture, politics, and economy of the U.S.? How have immigrants and citizens of color adapted the mythology of the American Dream to achieve success? What does the larger narrative of immigration, race, and ethnicity tell us about our nation's values and our own identity as citizens? Throughout the semester, students will use historical texts, novels, and selected works of film and music to consider these questions. Selected themes for the course include the "Melting Pot" and multiculturalism, race and ethnicity, anti-immigrant agitation and legislation, the nature of the American Dream, and the development of ethnic communities and businesses. The class will cover the time period from the late nineteenth century to the present. Prerequisites: RHT and Foundation H&S and A&H

3.00 credits



CVA2490 Food and the African American Canon 3 credit intermediate liberal arts This course discusses food and eateries in restaurants and dining cars, by street vendors and more—anyplace food is made, sold, and eaten¬—particularly pertaining to noted works in the African American canon: James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God; James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son and No Name in the Street; and Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo: A Novel. This course will take place online via WebEx. Prerequisites: RHT (A & B) or (I & II) and (AHF & AHS) or AHS Foundation

3.00 credits



4.00 credits



GDR3610 Topics in Women's Studies (Advanced Liberal Arts) This course provides a forum to examine and discuss contemporary women's and girls' roles and positions. The course will address the following topics: first and second waves of feminism, sexuality, psycho-social influences on gender construction, paid work and structures of inequality, women and social protest and family configurations. At the beginning of the course, we will read some historic documents as background to the women's movement in the United States. Although the main focus will be on women and girls in the United States, we will also discuss women's positions in other countries as well. Because femininity and images of women are balanced, and often countered, by masculinity and images of men, we will spend time discussing men in relation to women. Integral to this course is recognition of how race, class, ethnicity and sexuality converge to influence how women negotiate their political, social and cultural roles. Finally, we will attempt to become "enlightened witnesses" to the social construction of femininity and masculinity, and use our understanding to notice stereotypical portrayals as well as new, liberating images of women and men. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Fall

4.00 credits



HIS3606 The Cultural History of American Business 4 credits (Advanced Liberal Arts) How have generations of Americans used business to define their ambitions and identities? How has commerce influenced the nation's mythology and ideals? What are the social and personal costs of the U.S.'s veneration of the marketplace? In this advanced-level history course, students will examine how business has shaped American culture and society. Selected subjects for the class include the rise of the corporation, the icons of American business, the power and politics of consumption, ethnic and immigrant entrepreneurship, and the role of the marketplace in the nation's economic and cultural development. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (CVA, LVA & HSS) This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring

4.00 credits



HIS3608 Social Responsibility in Malaysia 4 credit advanced liberal arts (offshore elective) Study of, and opportunity for hands-on contributions to high quality social enterprises and corporate social responsibility programs in the world's most economically developed Muslim community. Malaysia is also a multi-ethnic society with communities of Chinese, Indian, and native peoples for which government, corporations, and social enterprises are developing strategies for social coherence. For over a hundred and fifty years, American management models have dominated the enterprises of the world. Now, as we enter the second decade of what some call the "post-American century," it is vital for Americans and everyone else to open themselves to lessons that can be learned from others. Malaysia's underappreciated economic success, as well as its large challenges in sustainability and social justice, make it a potential teacher for the rest of us. Prerequisites:

4.00 credits



HIS3614 World War One at 100 (1914-2014): History, Literature and Film 4-credit Advanced Liberal Arts “The Great War"; "a war to end all war"; "a war to make the world safe for democracy"; the beginning of "total war"... and then, "a peace to end all peace"!! Or, as others described it: "the great seminal catastrophe of [the 20th] century"; and "the first calamity of the twentieth century... from which all other calamities sprang." Today, 100 years from the outbreak of WWI, most students of history and politics trace directly, or consequentially, the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union, Fascism, Nazism and WW II, The Cold War, the beginning of the end of Imperialism, the rise of Asian, African and Middle Eastern independence and nationalist movements, modern Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine, Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab Spring of 2011, and the present Syrian Civil War to World War One!! Wow! So... how to work to understand such a momentous event and use our understanding to know ourselves and our contemporary world better? We will lean about the origins and process of the war; we will read novels, memoirs and poetry of English, French and German soldiers who fought in the war; we will look at films from across the 20th century that explored the war and will read some modern literature that looks back at WWI to help explore contemporary personal, cultural and political issues. Finally, each student will choose a particular area of interest to explore and share with the class. Prerequisites: Three Intermediate liberal arts (HSS, CVA, LVA)

4.00 credits

HIS3630 - C.I.A. IN ASIA


HIS3630 C.I.A In Asia 4 credit advanced liberal arts We will examine the ways in which CIA actions affected the internal and external dynamics of various countries in west, central south, southeastern and east Asia, in order to explore the beneficial and detrimental impact of their operations in Asia during the Cold War. The class will explore how CIA actions during the Cold War shaped the current geo-political and economic dynamics of Asia, in particular; the political unrest in Iran, the lawlessness and violence and Afghanistan, and the debate of CIA complicity in the heroin trade. We will use a variety of books, articles, documents, and films to understand this complex, politically sensitive and volatile history. Prerequisites: 3 intermediate liberal arts (LVA, CVA, HSS)

4.00 credits



HIS3674 The Personal Is Political: Women and Gender in Modern U.S. History 4 credit advanced liberal arts Activists in the women’s movement made the personal political, bringing previously “private” issues such as sex, reproduction, birth control, and intimate relationships into the realm of public debates. This course focuses on the changing social and political roles of women and men in twentieth- and twenty-first century America. Using primary and secondary sources, films, and other texts, we will study “womanhood” and “manhood,” femininity and masculinity, and the intersection of these identities with the categories of class, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, and sexuality. We will discuss women and men in straight and GLBTQ family arrangements, in the diverse, globalized workplace, in the formation of public policy, and in social movements. The course will be tied to the dynamic, on-campus programs for Women’s History Month sponsored by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership. Three Intermediate liberal arts (HSS, CVA, LVA)

4.00 credits



HSF1300 Crises in Community and Citizenship (Fall Semester) (Foundation Liberal Arts) THIS COURSE IS FOR STUDENTS WHO STARTED AT BABSON BEFORE SEPT. 2013. In this History and Society foundation course, students will explore the challenges that individuals face as they struggle to exercise personal agency in the face of social, cultural, political, economic, and historical structures. Focusing on the tensions between and within communities, as well as those that are internal to the individual, this course asks a series of related questions: How is identity socially constructed? How do individuals negotiate belonging in communities defined by nation, region, race, religious affiliation, class, ethnicity, gender or sexuality? How do these identities affect one's ability to be recognized as a citizen of these communities? What strategies do individuals apply to reconcile the self with social expectations? What impact do these struggles have on the way community boundaries are redrawn over time? How do we resolve the multiple vectors of identity and the multiple sites of citizenship? To answer these questions, we will draw on the work of historians, documentarians, graphic artists, environmentalists, philosophers, journalists, cultural critics, and memoirists. Prerequisites: NONE HSF1300 HUMAN AGENCY AND COMMUNITY IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD (Spring Semester) (Foundation Liberal Arts) THIS COURSE IS FOR STUDENTS WHO STARTED AT BABSON BEFORE SEPT. 2013. Over the past century human societies have changed at an unprecedented rate and with an unprecedented scope. These changes have been often traumatic, sometimes revolutionary and nearly always unpredictable. This course examines the impact of a number of different kinds of upheavals and transformations on individuals, communities and nations, as well as transnational formations. The course will focus on periods of dramatic change in different parts of the world. As we move from one historical and geographic context to another, we will address the following set of related questions. What are the different ways that individuals can "belong" to a society? How is social identity constructed and deconstructed? How do individuals exercise human agency in the face of institutional oppression? What are the possibilities for individual and communal healing from historical trauma? What is the relationship of memory to history? What does citizenship mean in a globalizing world? Prerequisite: NONE

3.00 credits



HSS2000 The Making of Modern America, 1865-1929 4 credit (Intermediate Liberal Arts) The decade of the 1920s witnessed the birth of much of that we consider "modern" in the United States. Students in this course will examine this decade closely, focusing on several key moments and developments: anti-immigrant hysteria and the Braintree, Massachusetts trial of Sacco and Vanzetti; the rise of queer communities; competing visions of Black Liberation and the art of the Harlem Renaissance; the rise of big business, the decline of small town America, and the mass appeal of the Ku Klux Klan; women and men and their roles in the new economies of sex and work. We will use historical sources, among them film and fiction, to explore the currents of the twenties and draw connections to the social and political debates of the contemporary U.S. Prerequisites: RHT I & II and Foundation (H&S and A&H) or AHS

4.00 credits



HSS2003 Latin American History (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course will be an introduction to the main themes, actors, and ideas in Latin American history. The central focus will be on Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, with an attempt to develop a comparative understanding of the Latin America's diversity, as well as common patterns, from pre-Columbian times to the present. In other words, this course is not an exhaustive history of Latin America; rather, it intends to develop familiarity with key concepts, developments, and issues in the region's history. Prerequisites: RHT I & II and Foundation (H&S and A&H) or AHS This course is typically offered in the following semester: Fall

4.00 credits



HSS2013 China Today: The Dragon Rises 4 credit intermediate liberal arts This intermediate history course will introduce you to China’s dynamic present within the context of the complex legacy of the Chinese past. We will examine the historical, cultural, political, and economic development of post 1949 China, with brief introductions to relevant aspects of the imperial past. You will gain a nuanced appreciation for the incredible economic growth of China from 1990 to the present, and the concomitant problems of state-society relations, human rights, minority relations, the environment, and the gaps between the rich and the poor and the urban and rural citizens. We will take advantage of Boston’s resources through site visits to view Chinese art, undertake a scavenger hunt in Chinatown, and enjoy Chinese food. We will explore China through the use of scholarship, fiction, maps, memoir, art, film, and music. Prerequisites: RHT I & II & Foundation (A&H and H&S) or AHS

4.00 credits



HSS2020 Media Studies (4 credit Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course explores the structure and functions of the mass media in contemporary society, looking at social, cultural, economic and political issues relevant to television, film, radio, recorded music, books, newspapers, magazines, internet and new communication technologies. Exploration of relationships between media and individual, media structure, media policy, law and ethics, and globalization of communications media is emphasized. Prerequisites: RHT I & II and Foundation (H&S and A&H) or AHS This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Fall

4.00 credits

  1 2