2022 Summer - History: Topic Courses

HIS200H5F - Topics in History: The History of Inequality in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (E. Pecile)

This course focuses on wealth inequality in Europe from 1100 to 1600. It explores how the configuration of European economies in the wake of the Commercial Revolution that began in 1100, created specific economic and, in turn, societal hierarchies that shaped both the material and political landscape of the continent. The economic changes brought on by an agricultural boom and revival of long-distance commerce had profound effects on the configuration of European socity as they began to expand their material horizons. Social orders began to shift to mirror a new economic cultural order. Course themes include exporing the meaning of inequality as a historical metric, the structure of European economies, economic hierarchies and the political hierarchies created by them.

HIS395H5F - Topics in History: Global Environmental History and the Modern World (R. Patel)

This course examines the global environmental history of the modern world through various frameworks and methodologies, focusing largely on the late nineteenth century to the present. Tracing significant historical processes and events including empires and imperial expansion, world wars, developments in science and technology, industrialization, mass consumption, decolonization, and the Cold War, we will investigate the material and ecological dimensions of these realities, and the ways differences and inequalities in environments are produced. Furthermore, we will examine the relationship of these processes to the social, cultural, and epistemological settings that they occurred. We will draw from a range of methodologies to engage environmental history such as political ecology, science and technology studies, Indigenous studies, environmental justice, and more.

HIS493H5S - Advanced Topics in Global History (S. McClellan)

Environmental history considers how humans and natural environments have interacted and reshaped each other in the past. As we explore the environmental history of the world, we’ll follow several paths of inquiry. How has the natural environment influenced human actions, decisions, and cultural and social development? How have people perceived or imagined the natural world? How have they reshaped and even reordered the natural environment? How have science and technology shaped the environment? How have people struggled with each other over ways the environment should be treated and understood? What have been the intended and unintended consequences of their actions? We will seek to provide answers to these questions through six one-week seminar modules: defining global and environmental history; agriculture and animals; carbonization and industrialization; colonization and war; fire and water; the nuclear age and the great acceleration.