These courses fulfill the Level II Elective requirement of the NU Core for non-History majors, as well as elective credit for History majors.
Course Descriptions for Spring 2013 HIST 2304 Topics Courses
Cold War Espionage
Youth Revolt in World History
The Taste of History
HIST 2304 Section 1: Cold War Espionage
Commonly referred to as the world’s “secon
d oldest profession,” espionage is an intrinsic part of the relations between communities, institutions, and states, and an essential basis for policy decisions by world leaders. Drawing from a wide variety of published and unpublished primary and secondary sources, supplemented by modern theoretical and social science perspectives, literature, and films, this course explores the history of espionage during the Cold War era (1943-1991) and its immediate aftermath through a series of case studies. This lecture course will lead students through the history of covert operations over the past 50 years focusing on these sub-themes: the origins of the Cold War in World War II; the postwar battle for German scientists; Containment and Rollback; Operation Gladio; Venona and codebreaking; nuclear spies; defectors; proxy wars; insurgencies and counterinsurgencies; terrorism; technological espionage; cyberespionage; propaganda; the psychology of betrayal; and mind control.
HIST 2304 Section 2: Youth Revolt in World History
This course will examine the concept of “youth revolt” in world history, with an emphasis on the twentieth century. We will consider the idea of “youth” as an identity factor, and how it is understood, expressed and enacted by individuals across time and place. By examining student and youth oriented social movements and oppositional subcultures, we will ask key questions about the role of youth identity in contentious politics and social change: Can we identify youth as distinct from other identities, such as race, class, sexuality and gender, and how do these interact? Can youth identity transcend cultural and political boundaries? How has the idea of “youth” served as a mobilizing framework for various social movements throughout the world? Can these movements be compared? What is the relationship between oppositional youth culture and more traditional social movements? Is there a common characteristic of youth movements historically and globally other than the age of the participants? How have young people historically had an effect on the institutions of power and how have they been used by those institutions?
Students can expect to gain an understanding of youth revolt from both historical and sociological perspectives and develop a multi-disciplinary toolkit for understanding and writing about youth activism and engagement.
HIST 2304 Section 3: The Taste of History
“The Taste of History” examines the process of globalization through the spread of food and the adoption of certain foodways from ancient times to the present. Within this framework, students explore issues of gender, class, race, and ideologies, in order to better understand intricate structures of power, wealth, and deprivation that characterize our present “world” condition. Culinary history is an interdisciplinary study; it borrows from the methodologies of ecology, anthropology, economics, and geography. More importantly, it allows us to study historical processes broadly as well as deeply, across both space and time. By the end of the semester, students will gain insight into the construction of history on a global scale, and learn to interrogate such terms as “world,” “accurate,” and, even, “history.” You will exit the course with a better understanding of the past, evolving trade networks, and social hierarchies.