Social Change and Social Movements

Why do large-scale social changes occur when they do? Societies have a particular social order, cultural values and ideologies, institutions, hierarchies, vectors of authority, and economic relations, and then at particular moments, these become susceptible to small or even profound transformations—gradual or abrupt. How have people created the open moments of plasticity that make such transformation possible? What does it mean to band together with others and act collectively to change things? Humans have engaged in individual acts of resistance—breaking tools, not paying taxes, running away, avoiding military service or impressment, adulterating food, defying a tribal order, refusing gendered expectations, praying, engaging in religious dissent—in many time periods and throughout the world. When and how does such resistance become a social movement? Under what conditions does spontaneous action turn into deliberate, planned, strategic action? How have people built and exerted power? What have been the possibilities and limits of solidarity?
 
These pathway courses enable us to see strategies used at the local, regional, national, and international level; to establish connections among organizing and policy and politics, state and family, and migration, immigration, and empire; to explore how migrations of people and ideas generate transnational connections among movements. Why do some take up arms and use violence? In other places and locales, pacifist movements could bring down even the mightiest of imperial powers, as the Salt Marches did in British-occupied India. Studying social movements can take us through the study of peasant resistance to land enclosures, revolutions, abolitionism, labor rights and women’s rights, anti-colonialism, indigenous rights, Christian fundamentalism, liberation theology, apartheid, the modern conservative movement, the Islamic Revival, and nationalism of all sorts.  Social movements can be studied through the prism of ideas and intellectual history, social history, gender, history of sexuality, political history, and environmental history. As we reflect on what constitutes the success or failure of a social movement, we confront the intriguing question—what is the connection between social movements and broad political or economic change over time?
 
Faculty advisers: Abbas Amanat, David Blight, Rosie Bsheer, George Chauncey, Rohit De, Carolyn Dean, Fabian Drixler, Marcela Echeverri, Anne Eller, Crystal Feimster, Joanne Freeman, Beverly Gage, Glenda Gilmore, Jonathan Holloway, Gilbert Joseph, Jennifer Klein, Mary Lui, Daniel Magaziner, John Merriman, Joanne Meyerowitz, Stephen Pitti, Terence Renaud, Edward Rugemer, Jenifer Van Vleck
 
Specialist Track requirements: Students specializing in this region must complete at least five of the courses listed below. For additional requirements of the major, see Requirements of the Major.
 
Course numbers: History course numbers denote region of the world rather than degree of difficulty. 100-level courses are U.S. history; 200-level are European history; 300-level include courses from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America; 400-level courses are global, covering many regions of the world.
 
Course numbers also convey information about the type of course being offered. Courses beginning with “0” (i.e. HIST 012) are freshman seminars; courses with a three-digit number (i.e. HIST 113) are lectures, open to all students; courses with a “J” suffix (i.e. HIST 136J) are departmental seminars.
 
Students may petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies to include other HIST courses within a pathway if their written work for the course is directly relevant to the pathway.
 
Retired courses: Courses offered in previous years (and no longer being actively taught) can be found on the list of “Retired Courses.” Please consult that list for region and pathway designations.
 
* Courses being taught in 2016-2017
 
Freshman seminars

*

HIST

034

Eller

Anne

Cuba from Slavery to Revolution

*

HIST

040

Tannenbaum

Rebecca

Global Women’s History

*

HIST

041

Echeverri

Marcela

The Americas in the Age of Revolutions (PI)

 

HIST

012

Klein

Jennifer

Politics and Society in the U.S. after World War II

 

HIST

052

Echeverri

Marcela

Latin America since Independence

 

HIST

070

De

Rohit

Lawyers as Rebels

Lectures

*

HIST

119

Blight

David

The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877

*

HIST

127

Chauncey

George

U.S. Lesbian and Gay History

*

HIST

136

Feimster

Crystal

The Long Civil Rights Movement

*

HIST

171

Meyerowitz

Joanne

Women in Modern America

*

HIST

183

Lui

Mary

Asian American History, 1800 to the Present

*

HIST

184

Rugemer

Edward

The Rise and Fall of Atlantic Slavery (PI)

*

HIST

225

Lenski

Noel

Roman Law (PI)

*

HIST

254

Allen

Jennifer

Germany from Unification to the Refugee Crisis

*

HIST

283

Eire

Carlos

History of the Supernatural (PI)

*

HIST

335

Magaziner

Daniel

History of South Africa

*

HIST

375

Ho

Denise

China from Mao to Now

*

HIST

3XX

Echeverri

Marcela

Political Violence in Latin America

 

HIST

131

Gage

Beverly

American Politics and Society, 1900-1945

 

HIST

169

Freeman

Joanne

Early National America (PI)

 

HIST

187

Holloway

Jonathan

African American History Emancipation to Present

 

HIST

216

Halper

Shaun

Zionism

 

HIST

251

Wrightson

Keith

Early Modern England (PI)

 

HIST

302

Lenski

Noel

The Late Antique World (PI)

 

HIST

348

Amanat

Abbas

Empire, Nationalism, & Revolution in Middle East

 

HIST

358

Joseph

Gilbert

History of Mexico since Independence

 

HIST

371

Eller

Anne

Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Departmental seminars

*

HIST

102J

Proctor

Bradley

Race and Gender in the South, Civil War to Civil Rights

*

HIST

104J

Zdencanovic

Ben

Reform Movements in America, 1890-1968

*

HIST

107J

Wood

Nicholas

The Antislavery Struggle in America (PI)

*

HIST

136J

Gage

Beverly

Liberalism and Conservatism in the Modern U.S.

*

HIST

139J

Gilmore

Glenda

The American South, 1870-present

*

HIST

160J

Chauncey

George

Topics in Lesbian and Gay History

*

HIST

191J

Klein

Jennifer

Women, Gender, and Grassroots Politics in Postwar U.S.

*

HIST

196J

Winant

Gabe

Daily Life in American Capitalism

*

HIST

283J

Halper

Shaun

Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism

*

HIST

321J

Melvin

Jess

Imagining Modern Indonesia: 1900-Today

*

HIST

364J

Eller

Anne

History of the Caribbean since 1898

*

HIST

372J

Joseph

Gilbert

Revolution and Cold War in Latin America

*

HIST

387J

Sanneh

Lamin

West African Islam: Jihad Tradition and its Opponents

*

HIST

409J

Magaziner

Daniel

Global Black Power

*

HIST

411J

Van Vleck

Jenifer

The Global 1960s

*

HIST

462J

Pincus

Steven

American Revolution in Global Perspective PI)

 

HIST

103J

Blight

David

Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass

 

HIST

115J

Feimster

Crystal

Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation

 

HIST

129J

Klein

Jennifer

Capitalism, Class, and Power in the 20th Century

 

HIST

134J

Gitlin

Jay

Yale and America

 

HIST

161J

Gage

Beverly

Communism and Anticommunism in the Modern U.S.

 

HIST

169J

Klein

Jennifer

Labor, Migration, & Democracy in the 20th-Century U.S.

 

HIST

185J

Pitti

Stephen

Latina/o Histories

 

HIST

327J

Drixler

Fabian

Navigating Life in 19th-Century Japan

 

HIST

349J

Magaziner

Daniel

South African Apartheid

 

HIST

358J

Joseph

Gilbert

Mexico Since Independence

 

HIST

385J

Bsheer

Rosie

Reformers and Revolutionaries in the Arab World

 

HIST

405J

Chauncey

George

The Transnational History of Sexual Politics

 

HIST

422J

Dean

Carolyn

History and Human Rights