History and Society

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by the Undergraduate School at Babson College. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see the Course Listing.

History and Society

CVA2090 - FOOD AND THE AFRICAN AMER CANON

FOOD AND THE AFRICAN AMER CANON

CVA2090 FOOD AND THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CANON
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


This 4 credit history and foodways course discusses food and space in restaurants, dining cars, street venders and wherever food is made and sold (by whom), and eaten (by whom) at the center. The course will include readings in James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of a Colored Man, Ralph Ellison,s Invisible Man, Zora Hurston,s Their Eyes Where Watching God, John Washington,s The Chaneysville Incident, Paule Marshall,s classic essay From The Poets in the Kitchen, and Richard Wright,s Man of All Work. Readings on segregated restaurants come from James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son, and in No Name in the Street. A chapter on Ntzoake Shange,s novel, Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo and her novel Liliane.

Prerequisites: RHT and AHF or AHS Foundation

4 credits

ENV4602 - GENDER AND ENVIRONMENT

GENDER AND ENVIRONMENT

ENV4602 GENDER AND ENVIRONMENT
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

The objective of this course is to understand, explore, and analyze the linkages between gender and the environment. Using multiple case studies (fashion, food, waste, illegal wildlife trade, climate change etc.), the course will focus on three core themes: 1) foundational concepts and theories of gender as they relate to the environment 2) the inequities and power dynamics associated with environmental challenges 3) knowledge and tools to mainstream gender and create effective change. By thinking critically about these concepts, we will challenge our current understanding about complex, global environmental challenges, the meaning of gender, and why it matters today and in the future.

Prerequisites: Any combination 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS, CVA, LVA)

4 credits

ENV4605 - GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM

ENV4605 GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


"It has never been more important to protect the environment, and it has never been more deadly. The battle for the environment is emerging as a new battleground for human rights." (Global Witness).

This course examines environmental activism around the world. The impact of anthropogenic activity on the environment has raised serious global concern and triggered several efforts to tackle the problem from the global to local level. Individuals and groups are using various tools to create awareness and help curb the growing environmental menace from different sources. Activists - especially local and indigenous ones - often face danger, including persecution by powerful actors like states and multilateral corporations, and the murder rate of environmental activists continues to rise globally. Environmental activism has thus become increasingly perilous. Nonetheless, advocacy for environmental responsibility remains vibrant around the world. This course uses various cases in different regions of the world to help understand the global environmental movement These cases include Shell in Nigeria's Niger Delta; Tahoe Resources in the Guatemalan town of Mataquescuintla; and Coca-Cola in India. The course will use these cases to examine: 1) the theoretical basis of environmental activism; 2) motivations of and challenges for activism; 3) the nature and composition of actors - activists, perpetrators and collaborators, policy communities, and governments; 4) nature and scope of issues and activism in the various regions of the world; and 5) relationships between environmental degradation, advocacy for its protection, and climate change.

Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA/HSS/LVA)

4 credits

GDR4605 - GLOBAL GENDER POLITICS

GLOBAL GENDER POLITICS

GDR4605 GLOBAL GENDER POLITICS
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


This course aims to help students develop a comprehensive understanding of gender in contemporary domestic and international politics. It covers a variety of themes, such as feminist theory, intersectionality, gender performance, comparative legal regimes, and the political economy of gender, and it will use such cases studies as American gangs, Islamic practices in France, sex work in India, women on Wall Street, and the Kim Kardashianization of social media to expand discussions and deepen understanding of core concepts.

Prerequisites: Any combinations of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA/HSS/LVA)

4 credits

HIS4606 - HISTORY AND CULTURE AMERICAN BUSINESS

HISTORY AND CULTURE AMERICAN BUSINESS

HIS4606 CULTURAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN BUSINESS
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


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.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring


Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (CVA, LVA & HSS)

4 credits

HIS4610 - SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THAILAND & LAOS

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THAILAND & LAOS

HIS4610 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN MALAYSIA & THAILAND
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits (Elective Abroad)


Program fee and group international airfare is paid to Glavin Office - program fee includes accommodations, breakfast, group flights (2), airport transports, ground transportation, site visits, program planned meals, and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.

The purpose of our course is to explore the question: "How do Malaysians and Thais think about 'Social Responsibility' and how do they act in order to achieve it?" By extension, we will be asking about how approaches to business ethics in our own countries differ from Malaysians' and Thais'? Often in Western discussions of business ethics, it is assumed that the West is far ahead of Asia in business ethics. We will make no such assumption, but rather, we will ask if Malaysia and Thailand have anything to teach our countries.

More particularly, we will focus on three Asian faiths and cultural traditions - Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism. We will visit 3 socially responsible companies, each representing, respectively, an approach to social responsibility consistent with one of those 3 traditions. We will aim not only to learn about the implications of Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism for business ethics. We will also aim to understand what qualities those 3 Asian traditions share which may distinguish them generally from Western traditions in business ethics.

Prerequisites: 3 intermediate liberal arts (Any combination LVA, CVA, HSS)

4 credits

HIS4616 - CAMBODIA:REBLDING CULT & ECN AFT GENOCID

CAMBODIA:REBLDING CULT & ECN AFT GENOCID

HIS4616 CAMBODIA: REBUILDING CULTURE AND ECONOMY AFTER GENOCIDE
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

In this action-oriented seminar students will explore the historical, political, and cultural events that shape Cambodian politics, culture and economy in Cambodia and the Cambodian diaspora today. After a brief historical introduction including the 600 years of Angkor civilization, Buddhism, and French colonialism, we will study the Khmer Rouge genocide (1975-1979) and its aftermath, and the current revival of society, economy, music, film, and dance. Our texts will include histories, memoirs, films, fieldtrips (as possible during Covid-19) and interviews in Lowell, MA - the second largest Cambodian-American community in the U.S. Students may be able to include a service learning component by teaching English online to 7-9th graders in a rural Cambodian school.

Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS/CVA/LVA)

4 credits

HIS4617 - HISTORY OF BOSTON

HISTORY OF BOSTON

HIS4617 THE HISTORY OF BOSTON
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


In this Advanced Level history course, students will explore Boston,s history, from the seventeenth century to the present, and consider how the city,s religious values, economic leadership, and intellectual traditions shaped American identity. Selected topics for the class include the city,s Puritan heritage, its place in the American Revolution, Boston,s intellectual and social movements, the creation of its museums and civic institutions, and the city,s struggles with immigration and race. As part of their responsibilities for the course, students will participate in field trips to the historic sites of Beacon Hill, Boston Common and the Public Garden, the North End, Back Bay and Copley Square, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (HSS LVA CVA)

4 credits

HIS4618 - CHINA IN BOSTON

CHINA IN BOSTON

HIS4618 CHINA IN BOSTON
2 Advanced Liberal Arts Credit


Based in Boston, this seminar will investigate the many manifestations of 21st century China
(in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora) from a global perspective, including the impact of globalization on China and China's impact on the world. Using the research laboratory of greater Boston, we will connect the classroom with community learning experiences. Members of the seminar will do research in museums, local organizations, and Chinatown, and through guest lectures/discussions with community members such as entrepreneurs, migrants, and government representatives from China and Taipei. Course materials will include site visits, guest lectures, readings and films.

Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA/HSS/LVA)

2 credits

HIS4619 - CROSSROADS MANHATTAN

CROSSROADS MANHATTAN

HIS4619 CROSSROADS MANHATTAN
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


Program Fee is paid to Glavin Office - program fee includes: accommodations, breakfast, program planned meals, and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, transportation to/from NYC/Manhattan, additional meals, and personal expenses.

If you want to learn about the language of the native Lenape peoples, study artifacts from the Harlem Renaissance, take a Gay Rights history tour of Greenwich Village, and map out immigration patterns in Chinatown, this course fits the bill. Students in this course will learn about Manhattan's development by tracing the histories of the native and immigrant people who lived there. We will focus on the experiences of indigenous and enslaved populations as well as waves of migration from Holland, Ireland, Eastern Europe, the West Indies, China and East Asia. Above all, we will talk about Manhattan as a crossroads, a place where the experiences of diverse groups of people intersected and overlapped, leading to both conflict and liberation. What did Manhattan offer members of these diverse groups, and what will it offer us as students of its history?

Prerequisites: 3 advanced liberal arts ( any combination of HSS, LVA, CVA) and admission in the course

4 credits

HIS4623 - ISLAMIC HISTORY AND SOCIETY

ISLAMIC HISTORY AND SOCIETY

HIS4623 ISLAMIC HISTORY AND SOCIETY
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


This course offers a survey of the fundamental concepts of Islam and devotional practices of Muslims. In this deep introduction we will examine the immense diversities of Muslim world-views, histories, doctrinal developments, socio-political and cultural manifestations as well as contemporary challenges for Muslims in vastly different contexts of times and places. No previous knowledge of Islam is assumed. The weekly study schedule will consist of a lecture with an array of audio-visual materials and class discussion focused on a wide-ranging set of primary texts. You will be guided on how to approach the genres, volume and contents of these texts. While the main organisational framework is chronological, the themes of the course cut across periods of time, geography and cultures. The course is divided into four sections: 1) Sources of Tradition, 2) Post-Prophetic Authority and Communities, 3) Islamicate Societies, Governance and Empires, and 4) Modern Manifestations of Islam

Prerequisites: Any combinations of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS, CVA, LVA)

4 credits

HIS4626 - GLOBAL CITIES

GLOBAL CITIES

HIS4626 GLOBAL CITIES
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


This course explores global cities to understand the varied and discrepant historical experiences of urban modernity. Drawing on a wide variety of literature from different disciplines and regions, we will critically examine the shaping of cities across the world: Boston, London, Paris, Shanghai, Mumbai, Singapore, Dubai, Bangalore, and Brasilia among others. We will examine city-space at two levels: first, at the more formal level of the state and town planners; and, second, at an everyday level, where city dwellers contest and redraw town plans in their daily lives.


The course begins with an analysis of race, class, and gender that segregated the industrial metropolis. We will then discuss colonial cities using space as a lens to review empire and imperialism. Next, our focus will be on neoliberal governance; megacities; the conceptualization of 'community' in a neoliberal city; gentrification; privatization of urban space; urban informality; and the new language of urban inclusion/exclusion.


A specific focus of this course will be on the impact of globalization on South Asian city space: has globalization sharpened class, caste, and religious divides in these cities?

Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS, CVA, LVA)

4 credits

HIS4640 - FOOD AND CIVIL RIGHTS

FOOD AND CIVIL RIGHTS

HIS4640 FOOD AND CIVIL RIGHTS
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


Napoleon said that an army marches on its stomach. His comment causes one to ask the question: What is the relationship between food and political stability-or instability-during important periods in history? That is to say, what role does food play in starting and sustaining a movement? And what important takeaways do we gain from looking at the role of food in social movements? Food and Civil Rights delves into movements for progressive change focusing on the 17th through the 21th century. This course shows that there have always existed movements for social justice around the world among marginalized groups of people. And food has been at the center of civil rights movements in one way or the other. The course looks at the organizations and individuals, home cooks and professional chefs, who-with the food they donated, cooked, grew and distributed-helped various activists continue to march and advance their goals for progressive change and self-determination. The course also looks at movements to end discrimination in the restaurant industry for customers and would-be employees. Through this exploration, this course addresses questions such as: How did progressive organizations raise the funds necessary to pay for their programs, staff, and campaigns? How have striking workers fed their families? What individuals and groups made important food-related contributions to movements? Where did organizers meet and strategize? The course focuses on the North American context, but student projects and our discussions do not need to be limited to that context. The materials for this class will include primary and secondary sources.

Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4 credits

HIS4670 - THE HISTORY AND ETHICS OF CAPITALISM

THE HISTORY AND ETHICS OF CAPITALISM

HIS4670 THE HISTORY AND ETHICS OF CAPITALISM
(FORMERLY HISTORY OF CAPITALISM)
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


This course deals with the history of capitalism from early modern times to the present. It is concerned not just with the story of capitalist enterprise but with the cultural values and social institutions accompanying capitalism. It addresses the tension as well as the affinity between capitalism on the one hand and, on the other, contextual cultural values and social institutions. It especially focuses on the way that capitalist power subverts as well as supports the free market economy and democratic political processes with which it is often identified.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring


Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (Any combination of CVA, LVA, HSS)

4 credits

HIS4682 - WOMEN IN CHINA

WOMEN IN CHINA

HIS4682 WOMEN IN CHINA
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits


Course considers Chinese history through an emphasis on the social and cultural roles of Chinese women and their changing role over time. Topics include women and the family, and women as shamans, prostitutes, nuns, rulers, writers, revolutionaries, and politicians. Close attention is given to the social-historical context, regional class, and ethnic differences in order to counter the common misconception that pre-modern China is an unchanging monolith. Through this approach and concentration on the roles of women, students gain a more realistic understanding of traditional Chinese society and of the complex legacy of the pre-Communist past in contemporary China.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall


Prerequisites: Any combination 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4 credits