2019-2020 History: Topic Courses

HIS221H5F: Themes in Medieval History: 'A Game of Thrones': Politics in Medieval Europe and Beyond (S. Beaulieu)

Medieval politics were, in many ways, a 'game of thrones' as various contenders vied for power and legitimacy. This course will analyze medieval political issues in all their complexities and situate them within their own contexts. It will chronologically survey various rulers and events in Europe and the Near East to show continuities and changes across time and place, and also across governemnt types and religious divides. Note: This is not a course about Game of Thrones, but we may use examples from the books and show as points of comparison and links to modern popular culture. No previous knowledge is necessary.

HIS392H5F: Topics in History: History of Information and Media (T. Lam)

Information can be used to construct knowledge, organize society, facilitate warfare, and discipline bodies. This course examines the politics of information and media technology with a greater emphasis on their intersection with colonialism and global capitalism.

HIS395H5F: Topics in History: Tudor and Stuart England (C. Petrakos)

This course provides an overview of two of the most tumultuous centuries in English history. At the beginning of our course in 1485, England was an economic and political backwater, a tiny insignificant island on the edge of a continent in turmoil. By 1714, England was poised to become one of the most politically stable and powerful nations the world had ever seen, eventually stretching an empire and “English liberty” throughout the known world. This course investigates England’s development from a political backwater to a world colossus. Although primarily a course on English politics, we will investigate the development of modern political ideologies and the relationship between new political ideas and the social world from which they sprang.

HIS395H5S: Topics in History: LGBTQ2+ Oral History (E. Brown)

Queer Peel! Being a sexual or gender minority in a place like Mississauga or Brampton is a lot different than being LGBTQ2+ in downtown Toronto. But scholars know very little about this history, because we lack the sources. We need to make them in order to write new, intersectional histories of being LGBTQ2+ in Peel! This class will be a workshop in doing LGBTQ2+ oral history, with a focus on queer and trans lives in the Peel region. Students will follow the full life-cycle of the interview and learn how to: develop a theoretically informed research plan; grapple with ethical considerations; write a consent form and interview guide; find narrators; use audio and/or visual technology to record interviews; write up field notes; transcribe interviews; analyze and write from the material; and create a short project drawn from the interviews. We will read work in oral history theory and practice, and some sources concerning the GTA’s LGBTQ2+ past.

HIS402H5S: Topics in the History of French Canada: Missionaries and Colonization in 17th-century New France (M. Cowan)

This course examines the relationship between missionary activities and colonial designs in 17th-century New France. Topics include late medieval and early modern European ideas of religion and expansion; early encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans; French attempts at settlement in Acadia and Québec; cooperation and conflict between missionaries and the Crown; similarities and differences among Jesuits, Ursulines, and Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu; and Indigenous responses to missionary efforts.

HIS493H5S: Advanced Topics in Global History: Decolonizing Africa: Revolutionary Nationalisms, Alternative Mappings, and Radical Futures (J. MacArthur)

What does it mean to "decolonize" Africa? Sixty years on since the "Year of Africa" that saw the independence of seventeen African countries, many on the continent and beyond are rethinking not only the meanings of decolonization but moreover whether decolonization has even been achieved. Looking at specific case studies, this course examines a series of alternative decolonizatons – from revolutionary nationalist projects and seccionist movements to federalist and pan-Africanist attempts to redraw the map – as well as the impact of the Cold War and ongoing debates over boundaries, citizenship, and sovereignty in postcolonial Africa. Students will engage with a variety of theories of decolonization, debates over the use of violense, competing nationalisms, and radical future imaginings for a "decolonized" Africa.

HIS494H5S: Advanced Topics in the History of the Americas: The Klondike Gold Rush (C. Petrakos)

The Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1900) is one of the key events in Canadian and American history. When George Washington Carmack, Skookum Jim, and Tagish Charlie dug their pans into Rabbit Creek in the summer of 1896, they set in motion a stampede that rocked the world. By the next year over 100,000 would-be gold seekers gave up their lives and took to the trail heading towards Dawson City—a city that aspiring boosters hoped would become the “San Francisco of the North.” This course takes a broad historical perspective. By taking the story of the gold rush back to the mid 1800s, we will see that it was not just a flash in the pan but part of wider and much more deeply entrenched trends in Canadian and American history centering on settlement, development, and dispossession.