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New Course Offerings

Fall 2012

History 290B -- 
History of the 21st Century
Professor Glen Kuecker
Tues/Thursday - 7:00-8:30 pm 

Social scientists are increasingly becoming aware that the 21st century will be defined by one of the greatest transformations in human history. Early outlines of the great transformation are already apparent as large-scale, global, interconnected, and concomitant crises are causing deep structural change to the meanings and practices of the modern world.  The perfect storm of crises (climate change, end of oil, food insecurity, rapid urbanization, population growth and aging, pandemics, economic instability, and ecological distress) are defining a new historical period, one that is distinct from the recent period of globalization, and one potentially marking a departure form the modern era.  This transformation is happening in your lifetime.  It will define the opportunities, limitations, risks, and challenges of your generation.  Indeed, your generation will most likely engage in the building of a new civilization, an undertaking that is both daunting and exciting.  This course approaches the perfect storm by introducing students to complexity thinking, which is one of the most important critical reasoning skills for the 21st century.  In addition to learning the particulars of the crises we face, the course invites us to explore the new ways of being, thinking, and acting that are coming into formation. The course is offered for “W” credit. 

Spring 2013

History 290B -- 
Revolutionary Russia, 1905-1938
Professor James Ward

In the first half of the twentieth century, revolution washed over Russia in three waves: the Revolution of 1905, the February and October Revolutions of 1917, and Joseph Stalin’s ‘Revolution from Above’ of the 1930s, which included the Great Terror. What sparked these explosions? How did they transform lives and worlds? What legacies did they bequeath not just to Russia but the world? We will investigate these questions within competing historiographical schools as well as from a variety of social viewpoints. Readings will include primary sources.   

History 300A -- Dancing on the Wall: The Fall of European Communism, 1989-1992
Professor James Ward

In 1989, Communist regimes through Eastern Europe collapsed, followed within months by the shattering of the Soviet Union. What caused this remarkable, unprecedented, and entirely unexpected failure? Why did these revolutions produce both democratic renewal and ethnic war? How did this turn fit within a global context?  We will examine each revolution in depth, starting in Poland and ending in the USSR. Coursework will include a research paper drawing on substantial primary sources and a presentation of findings to the class.