Upcoming Courses

Course Highlights for Autumn 2015

HSTAM 290:  Ancient Authors vs. HBO Rome (Mira Green)

This class examines the Late Republican period of Roman history, which includes some of the most famous figures from the Roman word: Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Cicero, Cleopatra, and Octavian/Augustus. Indeed, the social turbulence and shifting political landscape of the Late Republic have become the subjects of many modern retellings of these events—one of the most recent being HBO’s television series "Rome." We will consider the issues and concerns raised by ancient authors about the social and political landscapes they faced in relation to those that are highlighted by modern filmmakers. We will also discuss the evidence we have for daily life in the Roman world and how that is represented in the TV series. We will assess the drawbacks and merits of the role that modern entertainment plays in coloring contemporary audiences’ perceptions of the Roman world. Do they help keep the Roman world relevant or do they relegate the struggles of Roman individuals simply to the realm of entertainment? While this course will require students to complete traditional writing assignments, it will also ask students to redo or add a scene to the television series that they feel will improve or challenge the narrative of the show.

HSTCMP 290:  Empire, Nation, and Religion: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Migrations to America (Devin Naar)

 East meets West. The Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Pacific worlds intersect as we trace the Itineraries of hopeful migrants from Istanbul, to New York, to Seattle. Join our exploration of the themes of empire, nation, religion, and race as we delve into the experiences of Jewish, Christian and Muslim immigrants from the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East to the United States during the twentieth century. What was the world they left behind? What challenges did they encounter in the new world and what price did they have to pay as they sought to become American? Creative multimedia assignment options. Field trips to sites of interest in Seattle.

HSTAS 290:  Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of Queer in Modern Japan (Kazumi Hasegawa)

This is a seminar course that examines modern Japan through the theoretical frameworks of gender and sexuality from 1600 to the present. We will explore not only how gender relations between men and women changed historically but also the shifting gender/sexual relations and dynamics between men and men, women and women, and other socially constructed identities. We will also analyze how gender and sexuality functioned in different historical stages in modern Japan and how they influenced the developments of modern Japanese culture and society. Questions to be explored: How did the gender roles change in modern Japan? What have been the society’s gender politics? How did heteronormativity develop in Japan? What do the politics and landscape of gender and sexuality look like in contemporary Japanese society?

HSTAA 290:  Jews and Blacks (Susan Glenn)

This course focuses upon the varied and complex ways in which African Americans and American Jews have understood and imagined each other and interacted together in the twentieth century. We will analyze the patterns by which Jews and Blacks have constructed their own group and individual identities in relationship to one another. And we will explore the historic basis of cooperation as well as the sources of conflict between two groups that were considered "outsiders" to mainstream American society. Our sources include the works of social scientists, cultural critics, playwrights, poets, novelists, journalists, filmmakers, and historians.