Alison Williams Lewin, Ph.D.
B.A., Cornell University
M.A,. University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Cornell University
HIS 316 The Grandeur That Was Rome, 707 B.C.E. to 476 C.E.
From its beginnings as a muddy village, Rome grew to create the largest empire and the greatest uniformity the Western world has ever known. The course will trace the course of Rome's development in the areas of military, political, social and legal history; examine the effects of Christianity and endless expansion upon the empire; and critically assess various theories explaining its demise.
HIS 317 Medieval Experience From the collision of Roman, barbarian, and Christian cultures arose a unique civilization, focused intently on survival in the world and salvation in the next. The course will focus on the mental and physical constructs of this civilization, with the goal of appreciating the extraordinary creativity of a society with few hard and fast rules or institutions to guide it.
HIS 318 The Italian Renaissance: 1100-1600 Extraordinary creativity in all arenas flourished in Italy during the Renaissance. New forms of political theory and organization, finance, art, literature and views about human nature itself all drew on Roman and medieval traditions, and burst forth against a backdrop of constant warfare. The course will examine the formation and evolution of the northern Italian city-states and the culture they created.
HIS 319 Revolutions 1517-1648: Religious, Social and Scientific A study of the profound upheavals that shook Europe in the early modern period. Special emphases will be placed on theological and political aspects of the religious wars and on the content and transmission of knowledge.
HIS 320 Absolutism and Enlightenment: 1650-1789 Ideas of human freedom and individual rights first spread while states attempted to impose strict controls on their subjects. The course will examine the works of absolutist and Enlightenment thinkers, the political machinery of the (would be) absolutist state, the tensions and accommodations between the two, and the culture and society that surround them.
HIS 330 England from Danes to Tudors: 700-1485 Because of its small size and geographic distance from the European continent, England evolved its own unique institutions and customs. Extensive records, ranging from wills to court rolls to private letters, enable modern scholars to ascertain a great deal about the everyday lives of people on all levels of society. This course will examine the ways in which official decrees--royal, noble, and ecclesiastical--affected people in all walks of life, and will furthermore explore the various rules English men and women constructed for themselves. In so doing, students will gain insight into the ways inhabitants of this island thought of themselves and the world around them.