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

HSS2000 - MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA

MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA

HSS2000 THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA 1865-1929
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


The decade of the 1920s witnessed the birth of much of what we consider _modern_ in the United States. Students in this intermediate Liberal Arts course will examine this decade, focusing on key developments: the decline of small town America and the mass appeal of the Ku Klux Klan; competing visions of Black Liberation and the art of the Harlem Renaissance; the emergence of modern gendered identities and their roles in the new economies of sex and work; the rise of LGBTQAI communities and the policing of those communities; the integration and later forced deportation of Mexican-Americans in the western U.S. 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: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS

4 credits

HSS2003 - LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

HSS2003 LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


This course will be an introduction to the main themes, processes, and ideas in Latin American history since 1810. The central focus will be on Mexico, the Caribbean, and the ABC countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), without neglecting the main thinkers and major historical events from other countries. It will develop familiarity with critical developments in modern Latin American history such as slavery, modernization, neocolonialism, racism, and migratory flows. At times it will take a global perspective to situate Latin America in its proper international context, paying close attention to US-Latin American relations. In other words, the main goals of the course will be to cultivate an understanding of key concepts, developments, and issues in the region's history, while offering a sense of Latin America's human and cultural diversity.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall


Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4 credits

HSS2006 - SOUTH ASIAN HISTORY

SOUTH ASIAN HISTORY

HSS2006 SOUTH ASIAN HISTORY
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


History has been the unfortunate ground on which many of South Asia's fiercest political battles have played, and continue to play themselves out. This course considers a few of the key debates that have animated South Asian history. These include debates on the nature of colonialism, nationalism; the shape of a free India; the founding principles of the states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan; and the legacy of colonialism on democracy, development, and globalization in these South Asian countries. We will also consider how recourse to certain interpretations of 'history' has influenced the crafting of policy and politics. Structured chronologically, the course begins with a study of colonialism in the early nineteenth century and ends by considering the challenges of deepening democratization, unequal development and the varied manifestations of globalization.

Prerequisites: RHT and AHS

4 credits

HSS2010 - THE US IN THE WORLD IN THE 20TH CENTURY

THE US IN THE WORLD IN THE 20TH CENTURY

HSS2010 THE US IN THE WORLD IN THE 20th CENTURY
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


This course explores the role of the United States throughout the world from 1900 to the present. We will investigate the people, institutions, and processes that influenced American diplomatic and military engagements, and analyze the impact and effectiveness of America's role. We will begin by exploring the emergence of America as an empire, and how American power and influence evolved and changed over the course of the century to the present day. We will explore America's role in shaping the Cold War, in particular in Latin American and the wars in Vietnam, as well as more recent engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.

Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4 credits

HSS2013 - CHINA TODAY

CHINA TODAY

HSS2013 CHINA TODAY: THE DRAGON RISES
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


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 and RHT II and AHS

4 credits

HSS2018 - INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY

INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY

HSS2418 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


Sociology explains human behavior in terms of group activities. The solidarity of a social group allows group members to work cooperatively towards common goals. But the dark side of group solidarity is that it often leads members to feel hostility towards individuals who are not a part of the group and for non-members to experience feelings of resentment towards the group and its members. How is solidarity achieved? How is the formation of social identity affected by group solidarity? How do groups competing for scarce resources construct a view of their group,s needs, hopes, and desires? Where are group members and nonmembers situated in this view of social life? This course examines the relationship between group solidarity, resource scarcity, and the formation of social identity in everyday life.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring, Summer or Fall


Prerequisites: RHT I & II and AHS

4 credits

HSS2019 - A HISTORY OF FOOD AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

A HISTORY OF FOOD AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

HSS2019 A HISTORY OF FOOD AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


Treating voters to food and drink in exchange for their vote on Election Day has a long history. This course focuses on campaigning for public office from 1876 to the present. We look at how political meetings and campaign stops provides the opportunity for a candidate to identify with voters and thereby gain their vote. As a HSS, this course cultivates ethical structures for interrogating the world, understanding choices, and making decisions. It focuses on frameworks for critically understanding the cultural constructions of meanings and identities and the simultaneous and reciprocal construction of cultural and political context by human beings as ethical agents.

Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4 credits

HSS2020 - MEDIA STUDIES

MEDIA STUDIES

HSS2020 MEDIA STUDIES
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


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.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring or Fall


Prerequisites: RHT and AHS

4 credits

HSS2025 - DECONONIZATION & REVOLUTION 20TH CENT

DECONONIZATION & REVOLUTION 20TH CENT

HSS2025 DECOLONIZATION AND REVOLUTION IN THE 20th CENTURY
4 Intermediate Credits


The 20th Century is viewed by most historians as the most violent and tempestuous century in human history. In particular, this narrative is largely dominated by the two great wars and the Cold War. However, what made those conflicts so important was not just their impact on Europe and the Western World, but how those conflicts catalyzed mass movements globally. This class examines the history of decolonization and revolution in the 20th Century, and how the world wars and the Cold War impacted processes of nationalism, independence, decolonization and revolution. Starting with the rise of Turkey and the Bolshevik revolution during the first world war, we will then analyze the independence movements that sprouted from the vestiges of the second world war, particularly those of China and India, as well as the emergence of Apartheid in South Africa. We will also explore the impact of the Cold War on revolution and decolonization, especially Vietnam and Algeria. Finally, the course will analyze how more recent revolutions, such as those in Iran and Israel /Palestine, are rooted in longer historical processes which highlight the continuing legacy of Imperialism and revolutionary resistance to imperialism in the contemporary world. The course will use a variety of books, articles, movies, and music to analyze this deep, violent, and often conflicted aspect of human history.

Pre-requisites: AHS and RHT

4 credits

HSS2028 - GLOBAL POLITICS

GLOBAL POLITICS

HSS2028 GLOBAL POLITICS
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


This intermediate course will begin by examining different perspectives on the role of power, anarchy, institutions, and identity in the international system. These ideas will then be used to explore a wide range of current global issues, including war, trade, human rights, humanitarian intervention, and environmental problems. The goal of this course is to learn how various theories can bring both a richer understanding of the nature of international problems and of the motivations and perspectives of various international actors.

This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall


Prerequisites: RHT I and RHT II and AHS

4 credits

HSS2030 - US POLITICS

US POLITICS

HSS2030 US POLITICS
(FORMERLY AMERICAN POLITICS)
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


The course begins with a focus on significant ideas, major political and economic institutions, and key social conflicts and events that have shaped the character of American politics. We will position American politics in its historical context, recognizing and contending with the legacies of enslavement, white supremacy, and imperial violence in its development. As such, the fundamental role of race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, and class will be addressed throughout so that we can understand key and persistent features of American politics. The latter half of the course will examine contemporary ideologies, struggles over civil liberties and rights, the forces generating economic inequality, and the origins of mass incarceration and systemic racism. We will also spend the beginning of classes discussing the news, so the class will be flexible enough to respond to and address political events as they occur. The course will involve a combination of lecturing, discussion, and small-group activities, so class participation is important.

Prerequisites: RHT1000 AND RHT1001 AND AHS1000

4 credits

HSS2032 - AFRICAN HISTORY AND FOODWAYS

AFRICAN HISTORY AND FOODWAYS

HSS2032 AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND FOODWAYS
4 Intermediate L
iberal 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 and AHS

4 credits

HSS2033 - COMPARATIVE POLITICS

COMPARATIVE POLITICS

HSS2033 COMPARATIVE POLITICS
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


Comparative politics is a field that seeks to understand political dynamics within states and to understand a variety of political phenomena common in many countries. This course will use such cases as Britain, France, Russia, China, Iran, India, and Brazil to look at issues of nationalism, economic policies, institutional design, development, and social change. Comparative Politics is also characterized by a methodology that seeks to illuminate the reasons for similarities and differences across countries and provide some tools to think more critically about various political claims and proposals.

Prerequisites: RHT I and RHT II & AHS

4 credits

HSS2039 - INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY AFRICA

INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY AFRICA

HSS2039 CONTEMPORARY AFRICA
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to contemporary Africa. After a brief examination of the precolonial and colonial periods, it focuses on a variety of current topics. These topics include development challenges of education and health, regional security, gender, human rights, and environmental governance. Connecting present state of the continent and its past, the course ends by examining possible futures. Focused broadly on scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, the course will also draw on the arts, literature, and sports in order to provide a fuller picture of the continent.

Prerequisites: RHT I and RHT II and AHS

4 credits

HSS2040 - ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS

ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS

HSS2040 ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits


Environmental issues are inherently multidisciplinary. They intersect with a variety of other knowledge areas, such as economics, finance, politics, and sociology. To better understand these interactions, we require the ability to think holistically. This course provides some tools that helps us understand how environmental issues are connected to a wide range of topics. It is designed for business students, and it looks at the many roles played by the private sector in environmental governance. The central part of the course focuses on political challenges related to environmental issues: Who has influence over environmental decisions? How are decisions made? How are natural resources managed? The course is organized in four building blocks: Water-Food-Energy, Environmental Governance and International Relations, Sustainable Development, and Politics of Climate Change. All of them draw on contemporary debates about global environmental politics, and each building block uses case studies to contextualize the topics under discussion.

Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4 credits