Social History, 1789-1938
Social history is a catch-all term,
encompassing topics as diverse as gender roles, social classes,
change, demography, and cultural practices. This course examines
social history from the eighteenth century up to, but not including,
World War. It presupposes a general knowledge of political history, and
focusing instead on European experiences in everyday life.
Essay on a
Research paper 30%
The Midterm and Final exam are both
take-home. You will get a choice of three
questions, and have five pages to answer one of the three. Questions
on the course readings. The final exam is not cumulative, it is
The essay on a novel (5 pages) is due the
Friday of the week listed.
This assignment has two goals. First, students are exposed to some
works of fiction, which contributes all-around to a liberal arts
However, this assignment is also designed to teach students how to use
of fiction as a historical document. Your paper, therefore, should show
novel shows us something about the mentality of the society it
is not an exercise in literary
criticism! Your paper should not analyze plot or characters, except
these illustrate social history. Instead, focus on how the author
class or nationality, technological change, social attitudes, etc.
paper (12 pages) may be on any topic the student selects, subject
instructor’s approval. The paper must have at least eight sources, at
of which must be primary sources.
Students will select a theoretical question, summarize the
literature on that question, and then present and interpret primary
evidence in light of the theoretical literature. A list of suggested
will be given out in week 3.
Week 1 The
old regime: political rights in a warrior state.
culture: hierarchy and attempts to rationalize it.
mobility as promise and threat; elite responses: sumptuary laws
and the economic transformations that undermined it
Le Roy Ladurie Saint Simon and the Court of Louis XIV “Hierarchy
and Rank” 23-61
in the Age of Peter the Great “The Petrine Court” 248-297 (49
Take the online “Guided tour of women’s
and the “Guided tour of men’s fashion”
Lados Dangerous Liasons
Week 3 The early modern Family
as a legal status. Female honor, male honor
outside the family: Prostitution
Enlightenment, and the Church’s steady decline
Rebecca Spang. The Invention of the
Restaurant, “Hiding in Restaurants” 207-233
Lawrence Stone. Road to Divorce
“Desertion, Elopement, and Wife-sale,” “Private
Separation,”141-182. “Parliamentary Divorce,” 301-346 (86 pages).
Austin Pride and Prejudice
Week 4 The
social basis of enlightenment nationalism: printing presses and the
Nation in Arms: new sacralities, festivals of unity, anti-aristocratic
responses to “National Brotherhood”: Gouges, Wollstonecraft.
Lynn Hunt The Family Romance of the
French Revolution. Chapters 2-4. 17-123
See also: Web Museum, Jaques-Louis David http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/david/
and “Costumes of the French Revolution”
The Red and the Black
Week 5 Nationalism and its
impact in conservative
responses to the French Revolution in occupied Europe.
Royal families and “Official Nationalism”
Romanticism. German and west-Slavic nationalism
Anderson: Imagined Communities, “The
Origins of National Consciousness,” 37-46.
Nationalism “A Nation of Aristocrats,” “A nation of Romantics,”
Week 6 Industrial
artisans and mechanization
politics and ideology of the “working class”
progress: Steam, Railways
E.P. Thompson The Making of the
English Working Class, “Standards and
Joan Wallach Scott, The Glassworkers of Carmaux (first
half of book)
Novel: Charles Dickens: David
Copperfield, Hard Times or Victor Hugo Les Miserables
East European Responses to West European Progress
liberalism in Hungary and Russia: the “intelligentsia”
European nobles and the end of Serfdom.
fear of bureaucracy, the promise of the state Midterm: One
week to do a take-home essay
Politics of Backwardness in Hungary, “The Impulse to Reform,” part
“State and Society,” 35-118.
Novel: Mór Jókai Strange Marriage, Turgenev Fathers
Week 8 Urbanization
spread of the cash economy, decline of the rural order
factories and the village
cities: technologies of urbanization Midterm
Schivelbusch, Wolfgang. The Railway
in Hamburg “The Urban Environment”109-179;
“Fear and Panic” 346-372
[no novel this week, write the exam instead]
Week 9 Local
Politics: new actors
social types: the clerk, the shop assistant
the middle class
officials, bourgeois: competing elites
Philip Nord Paris
Shopkeepers and the Politics of Resentment “Grands Magasins,”
“Haussmanization” (2 chapters)
Zola The Ladies’ Paradise, Dostoyevski Crime and Punishment
Sexuality and moral Panic
urban types: women in public.
Panic: controlling female sexuality, prostitution
empire at home: changing consumption, colonial views of non-whites
Judith Walkowitz City of Dreadful Delight 41-120 (79 pages)
Leather 75-130, 207-230 (53 pages)
Pictures of Victorian women:
Anna Karenina, Lawrence
Lady Chatterly’s Lover, Balzac A Harlot
High and Low
Week 11 Demotic politics
as product of nationalism and social upheaval
intellectual culture vs. working-class culture
Social Democratic Parties vs. “the mob”
Laura Engelstein The Keys to
Happiness, “End of Innocence, Sex and the Anti-Semite”
254-332 (78 pages).
What is to be Done?
Militarism and War
military culture, dueling in Germany
Front experience: troops vs. generals
fronts and women.
of Spring 90-191 (101 pages)
See also “Art of the First World War”
“Photos of the Great War”
Hašek The Adventures of the Good Soldier
Schweik, Remarque All Quiet on the
13 Totalitarian Modernization
Soviet Union: Civil War, War, NEP,
terror, secret police, the show trial.
movements” in western Europe.
Shiela Fitzpatrik. Stalin’s Peasants “Collectivization,” “Culture,” “Malice”
48-79, 204-261 (84 pages)
And Quiet Flows the Don, Boris Pasternak Dr. Zhivago
Militarization and the coming deluge
Front Experience” as political claim
the Fascist woman
end of civilization?
Fantasies, vol. 1. “Men and Women” 3-50
Perrot, Fashioning the Bourgeoisie
Hall, Civilising Subjects: Colony and
Metropole in the English Imagination
Wahrman Imagining the Middle Class
Miller, The Bon Marché: Bourgeois Culture
and the Department Store
Sewell Structure and Mobility
Bradley Muzhik and Muscovite
Janos Politics of Backwardness
Arno Mayer The Persistence of the Old Regime
Peter Gay The Cultivation of Hatred
Mosse Nationalism and Sexuality
Peter Gay Schnitzler’s Century
Peter Gay The Education of the Senses
Mason The Making of Victorian Sexuality
Bernstein Sonia’s Daughters: Prostitutes
and their Regulation in Imperial Russia