Spring 2021

Where in the World is Europe? Decolonial, Transnational, and Domestic Perspectives (1500-1800)

Listed in: History, as HIST-421


Jutta G. Sperling (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST-421 [TC, TE, EU, C, P], and as EUST-421) Early Modern History has recently been challenged by a wide variety of theoretical perspectives that seek to decentralize and decolonize our understanding of this time period and its global effects. In this seminar, we will discuss some of these theoretical frameworks and their methodological challenges. We will begin by investigating a variety of encounters in the imperial contact zone, then move into a discussion of various “domestic” topics relating to the Italian Renaissance, German Reformation, and the French ancien régime, and end with an account of the Haitian and French Revolutions. Topics might include: Aztek Catholic feather art; Jesuit Brahmins in India; Ethiopian resistance to Catholicism; Kongolese saints; queer and linear temporalities; racialized bodies; global mapping; Venetian feminists; the German peasant war; Protestant iconoclasm; French salon culture; alchemy; mass possessions. Students will write a 25-page research paper that qualifies for the major requirement; non-majors will write a 15-page research paper. The class will be conducted over zoom, with extensive in-person office hours for on-campus students.

Spring semester. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Visiting Professor Sperling.


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Online Only, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021