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HISTORY 840 (Colloquium in Global History):
THE HOUSE IN HISTORY
Professor Martha Carlin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
copyright Martha Carlin 2020, all rights reserved
PANDEMIC ISSUES: This course is currently scheduled to meet face-to-face. If any class member(s) should become unable to attend in person, or if local health conditions or campus policy should make it necessary, we will move our class online, using Collaborate Ultra (available via Canvas) as our seminar platform. Because any move online may be sudden, PLEASE CHECK YOUR UWM EMAIL FREQUENTLY for any messages from me.
Office: Holton 320
Phone: (414) 229-5767 (this semester, use email instead)
Messages: History Department Office (414) 229-4361
Web page: https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/
Virtual office hours (via email only): Tuesdays 11:00 AM – 12:00 noon, and by appointment
This course will investigate the global history of the house from earliest times to the present.
Course description: What is a house? How is a house different from a home? Houses are not only physical structures, they can also be centers and symbols of social and civic identity, economic activity, family and clan, rank and status, gendered space, sacred space, tradition and innovation, inclusion and exclusion. Houses both shape and reflect the lives of their occupants, embodying past and present, necessities and choices, hopes, expectations, and compromises. What can houses tell us about their broader societies?
Email and internet access: You will require an email account and access to the internet for this class. All UWM students receive a free UWM email account, and have free internet access via UWM computer terminals and WiFi in UWM buildings. The History Department regularly contacts students via their assigned UWM email addresses. If you routinely use another email service provider (e.g., Gmail or Yahoo!) instead of your assigned UWM email, please go immediately into your UWM email account and put a “forward” command on it, to forward all incoming email messages to the account that you routinely use. This is your responsibility; the History Department reflectors use UWM e-addresses only. (To put a forward command on your UWM email account: enter your Office 365 account and click on “?” to open the Help app. Type “forward mail” and then follow the directions to forward email to your desired account.)
Papers: There is a required weekly submission of discussion topics on the assigned readings. There is also one required assignment listing three ranked paper topics (due in Week 3), and one 18-20-page research paper (due in Week 11). The written assignments are described at the end of this syllabus. All written work will be submitted as Word files (NOT .pdfs, please!) via the course Canvas page.
Oral presentations: There is one required formal oral presentation (Week 15), described at the end of this syllabus.
Exams: There will be no midterm or final exam.
Grading, deadlines, and attendance: Your final grade will be based on the following:
Your attendance, active participation, and other work in class: 30%
Your nine best sets of weekly discussion questions: 25%
Your three ranked paper topics: 5%
Your research paper: 30%
Your oral presentation: 10%
All assignments are due on the dates specified in this syllabus. Late work will not be accepted, and absence from class will not be excused, except in cases of major illness or emergency (it is your responsibility to contact me immediately in such a case). Students who, during the first week of classes, do not attend class or contact me, may be dropped administratively.
Electronic devices in class: You may use a laptop or tablet computer in class, but only for work relating to this class: any off-task computer use will result in the immediate forfeiture of the privilege of using a computer in class for the remainder of the semester. All other electronic devices, including phones, must be silenced and stowed away during class. [If we move the class online, you will need to use a headset with your computer, tablet, or phone to ensure that audio quality is adequate. Earbuds with mic are fine for this.]
Disabilities: If you have a disability, it is important that you contact me early in the semester for any help or accommodation you may need.
Academic integrity at UWM: UWM and I expect each student to be honest in academic performance. Failure to do so may result in discipline under rules published by the Board of Regents (UWS 14). The penalties for academic misconduct such as cheating or plagiarism can include a grade of “F” for the course and expulsion from the University. For UWM’s policies on academic integrity, see https://uwm.edu/academicaffairs/facultystaff/policies/academic-misconduct/
UWM policies on course-related matters: See the website of the Secretary of the University at: https://uwm.edu/secu/wp-content/uploads/sites/122/2016/12/Syllabus-Links.pdf
There are two required textbooks:
Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. London: Doubleday, 2010. (Available from eCampus, from public libraries, and from Abebooks.com, Amazon.com, and other online booksellers.)
Moore, Jerry D. The Prehistory of Home. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. (This book is available to read in full online and for partial download via UWM Libraries, at https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uwm/reader.action?docID=867680. Print copies are available from Abebooks.com, Amazon, and other online booksellers.) Golda Meir Library has a copy (call no. GN799.B8 M66 2012)
Other required readings (all available online, or as .pdf in Canvas):
Beckerman, Gal. “Empty trash. Buy milk. Forge history. To trace the great arcs of civilization, historians tap the humble list.” Boston Globe, 5 June 2011. http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/06/05/empty_trash_buy_milk_forge_history/
Beecher, Catherine E. and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The American Woman’s Home, or Principles of Domestic Science. New York: J. B. Ford, 1869, Chapter 2, “A Christian Home,” pp. 23-42. https://d.lib.msu.edu/fa/2#page/35/mode/2up (.pdf of entire volume available at: https://d.lib.msu.edu/fa/2/datastream/PDF_REM/View/)
Braudel, Fernand. Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18 Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 285-302, with notes on pp. 588-589. [Available via Canvas; there are also copies of this volume in the library.]
Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, 1983. [Free .pdf of entire volume available at: https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf]
Ferguson, Eliza. “The Cosmos of the Paris Apartment: Working-Class Family Life in the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Urban History 37 (2011): 59-67. [Available via Canvas; online access; .pdf download also available from UWM Libraries.]
Flanders, Judith. The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014, Chapter 1: “Home Thoughts: An Introduction,” pp.1-20, Plates 1-5, and endnotes on pp. 283-285. [Available via Canvas]
Foxhall, Lin. “House Clearance: Unpacking the ‘Kitchen’ in Classical Greece.” British School at Athens Studies 15 (2007): 233-242. [Available via Canvas or JSTOR]
Habe-Evans, Mito. “Everything You Own in a Photo: A Look at Our Worldly Possessions” (National Public Radio, 10 August 2010), with photos by Peter Menzel (Material World) and Ma Hongjie and Huang Qingjun (Family Stuff). https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2010/08/10/129113632/picturingpossessions
Kerrigan, Saoirse. “25 Ways to Build a House from Around the World: From Ancient Greece to Today,” Interesting Engineering (website), 17 April 2018. https://interestingengineering.com/25-ways-to-build-a-house-from-around-the-world-from-ancient-greece-to-today
Menzel, Peter. Material World (online gallery of 12 photos, from book published by Sierra Club in 1994). http://menzelphoto.com/galleries/material-world/
Oikonomides, Nicolas. “The Contents of the Byzantine House from the Eleventh to the Fifteenth Century.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 44 (1990): 205-214. [Available via Canvas or JSTOR]
Pearce, Michael. “Approaches to Household Inventories and Household Furnishing, 1500-1650.” Architectural Heritage, 26 (2015): 73-86. https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/10.3366/arch.2015.0068
Penner, Barbara. “‘We shall deal here with humble things’,” Places Journal, November 2012. Accessed 27 Dec 2018, https://doi.org/10.22269/121113. https://placesjournal.org/article/we-shall-deal-here-with-humble-things/ – 0
TOPICS AND READINGS
(Note that because UWM’s semester begins on a Wednesday this fall, our class will meet beginning on 8 September for 14 weeks instead of the usual 15 weeks.)
WEEK 1 INTRODUCTION TO COURSE
8 Sept. Introduction: What is a house? How is a house different from a home?
Read in class, identify 2-3 discussion questions for each reading, and discuss:
Saoirse Kerrigan, “25 Ways to Build a House from Around the World: From Ancient Greece to Today,” Interesting Engineering (website),17 April 2018 (https://interestingengineering.com/25-ways-to-build-a-house-from-around-the-world-from-ancient-greece-to-today)
Gal Beckerman, “Empty trash. Buy milk. Forge history. To trace the great arcs of civilization, historians tap the humble list,” Boston Globe, 5 June 2011 (http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/06/05/empty_trash_buy_milk_forge_history/)
WEEK 2 GLOBAL CONCEPTS OF “HOME;” THE YEAR 1850 IN ENGLAND; AN IDEAL AMERICAN HOME, 1869
15 Sept. First weekly discussion questions due in Canvas by 3:30 PM. (You must do at least nine of these over the course of the semester – see end of syllabus.)
Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 1 (“The Prehistory of Home”), pp. 1-14
Bryson, At Home, 2 plans at front of book, “Introduction” and Chapter 1 (“The Year”)
Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman’s Home, or Principles of Domestic Science (New York: J. B. Ford, 1869), Chapter 2, “A Christian Home,” pp. 23-42 (https://d.lib.msu.edu/fa/2#page/35/mode/2up or http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_26.cfm)
WEEK 3 THE EARLIEST HOUSES; DECODING THE EVIDENCE (LANGUAGE, ARCHIVES, ART); THE ENGLISH HOUSE AND HALL, 400-1600
22 Sept. RESEARCH PAPER TOPICS DUE IN CANVAS BY 3:40 PM
Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 2 (“Starter Homes”), pp. 15-31
Judith Flanders, The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014), Chapter 1: “Home Thoughts: An Introduction,” pp.1-20; Plates 1-5; endnotes at pp. 283-285. [Available via Canvas]
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 2 (“The Setting”) and 3 (“The Hall”)
WEEK 4 KITCHEN, SCULLERY, LARDER, SERVANTS’ WORK
29 Sept. Bryson, At Home, Chapters 4 (“The Kitchen”) and 5 (“The Scullery and Larder”)
Lin Foxhall, “House Clearance: Unpacking the ‘Kitchen’ in Classical Greece,” British School at Athens Studies 15 (2007): 233-42. [Available via Canvas and JSTOR]
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother, pp. 53-62 [https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf].
WEEK 5 HOUSES OF HUNTER-GATHERERS; HEAT AND LIGHT
6 Oct. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 3 (“Mobile Homes”), pp. 32-47
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 6 (“The Fusebox”)
Fernand Braudel, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18 Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 298-302 (+notes on p. 589).
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother, pp. 89-97 [https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf]
WEEK 6 DRAWING ROOM AND DINING ROOM; WEALTH, COMFORT, FURNISHINGS
13 Oct. Bryson, At Home, Chapters 7 (“The Drawing Room”) and 8 (“The Dining Room”)
Nicolas Oikonomides, “The Contents of the Byzantine House from the Eleventh to the Fifteenth Century,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 44 (1990): 205-214 [Available via Canvas and JSTOR]
Michael Pearce, “Approaches to Household Inventories and Household Furnishing, 1500-1650,” Architectural Heritage, 26 (2015): 73-86 (https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/10.3366/arch.2015.0068)
WEEK 7 POSSESSIONS; BUILDING MATERIALS; CELLAR AND PASSAGE
20 Oct. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 4 (“Durable Goods”), pp. 48-69
Fernand Braudel, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18 Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 285-298 (+notes on pp. 588-589).
Mito Habe-Evans, “Everything You Own in a Photo: A Look at Our Worldly Possessions” (National Public Radio, 10 August 2010), with photos by Peter Menzel (Material World) and Ma Hongjie and Huang Qingjun (Family Stuff) https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2010/08/10/129113632/picturingpossessions
Peter Menzel, Material World (online gallery of 12 photos, from book published by Sierra Club in 1994): http://menzelphoto.com/galleries/material-world/
(Since there is a lot of overlap between the two photo galleries, treat them as a single reading, and create one discussion question for the Material World photos, and one discussion question for the Family Stuff photos.)
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 9 (“The Cellar”) and 10 (“The Passage”)
WEEK 8 GENDERED SPACE; SACRED SPACE; QUIET SPACE; VERMIN; GARDENS AND PARKS
27 Oct. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 5 (“Model Homes”), pp. 70-92
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 11 (“The Study”) and 12 (“The Garden”)
WEEK 9 COMMUNAL HOUSES
3 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 6 (“Apartment Living”), pp. 93-113
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 13 (“The Plum Room”) and 14 (“The Stairs”)
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother, pp. 108-119 [https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf]
New York City Tenement Museum tour, with Annie Polland. 14:17 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bymB7tip1KM [include this video in your discussion questions]
WEEK 10 SECLUDING WALLS; SEX AND MORTALITY
10 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 7 (“Gated Communities”), pp. 116-140
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 15 (“The Bedroom”)
WEEK 11 THE BATHROOM
17 Nov. [Research paper due in Canvas by 11:59 PM]
Bryson, At Home, Chapter16 (“The Bathroom”)
Barbara Penner, “‘We shall deal here with humble things,’” Places Journal, November 2012: https://placesjournal.org/article/we-shall-deal-here-with-humble-things/ – 0 (22 pp.)
WEEK 12 NOBLE HOUSES; SACRED SPACE; DRESSING
24 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapters 8 (“Noble Houses”) and 9 (“Sacred Homes”), pp. 141-179
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 17 (“The Dressing Room”)
WEEK 13 CHILDREN
1 Dec. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapters 10-11 (“Home Fires;” “Going Home”), pp. 180-219
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 18 (“The Nursery”)
Ferguson, Eliza. “The Cosmos of the Paris Apartment: Working-Class Family Life in the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Urban History 37 (2011): 59-67. [Available via Canvas; online access and .pdf also from UWM Libraries]
WEEK 14 ORAL PRESENTATIONS and Conclusion
8 Dec. Bryson, At Home, Chapter 19 (“The Attic”)
Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 12 (“Conclusion”), pp. 220-225
3 ranked paper topics (due in Canvas in Week 3 by 3:40 PM), 5% of final grade:
Choose 3 topics for your research paper (ranked 1-3). For each, include images of your house and chosen room, and a brief paragraph in which you identify and date them. Cite the sources of the images, using the documentation format of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Weekly discussion topics (due in Canvas on class days by 3:30 PM), 20% of final grade:
Beginning in Week 2, submit in Canvas and before class, and bring to class, two discussion questions for each assigned reading. The discussion questions should address significant concepts, interpretations, or arguments in the reading, not purely factual information. A discussion question can be in your own words or can incorporate a brief quotation from the text. For each reading, include the author and full title, two questions, and the relevant page references. Total length: 1-2 pages (double-spaced). You must submit at least nine weekly sets of discussion questions. Your nine best will be worth 20% of your final grade.
Research paper (due in Canvas in Week 11 by 11:59 PM), 30% of final grade):
“One House, One Room, and Ten Objects: [Sub-title]” [Identify your chosen house and room as sub-title]
Choose one specific house to work on (any place, any period). In the Introduction, identify your chosen house, and give an overview of its history. Then, for the body of the paper, investigate one room in that house, and ten objects that the room contained or contains (or would have contained), and the role of that room and its contents historically. Include discussions of how your chosen house and room either reflected the society that produced them, or were atypical of the society that produced them. (Example: if you are studying the kitchen of your chosen house, discuss the evolution of kitchens broadly, and how your kitchen fits into that broader narrative, as well as how your house and kitchen reflected, or were atypical of, local comparable houses and kitchens).
Your paper should be 18-20 double-spaced pages long, exclusive of appendices, illustrations, endnotes and bibliography. You must include images of your house, chosen room, and ten objects. Include other illustrations and maps as needed.
Your paper must be fully documented with endnotes and a bibliography, using the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) format. Other forms of citation, including parenthetical citations, are not acceptable. (Recent versions of Microsoft Word include Chicago-style citation format as a built-in option for footnotes or endnotes. Be sure to use ENDNOTES with ARABIC NUMERALS for this paper.)
Oral presentations (in class, Week 14), 10% of final grade):
Provide a brief (5-minute) presentation on your research paper, in which you discuss your topic, your research and analysis, and your key findings. This should either be a spoken report with Power Point illustrations, or you can produce an illustrated video viewable from an open access online platform such as YouTube.