Rebecca Bennette

Associate Professor of History

 work(802) 443-5853
 Spring 2018: Tuesdays 9:30 am - 12:00 pm, or by appointment
 Axinn Center at Starr Library 333



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1170 - Dealing with Atrocities      

Dealing with Atrocities
Occurrences of atrocities affecting large numbers of people show no sign of ending. How do these atrocities start and why? How do societies rebuild afterwards, and how might this rebuilding conflict with the healing process of individuals? How can the often competing goals of justice and reconciliation be balanced? What do subsequent generations in society owe to victims of large-scale atrocities? To explore these and other issues, a few main cases will be examined in depth – such as events in European colonialism and the Holocaust – as well as students choosing additional examples for comparison and further research. 3 hr. sem. CMP CW HIS

Fall 2017

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HIST 0115 - Genocides Throughout History      

Genocides Throughout History
With the devastation of the Holocaust and other more recent events, the study of genocide has mainly focused on the modern period. Yet, mass killings and other atrocities abound in earlier centuries as well. In this course we will focus on examples across time and space to gain a more comprehensive understanding of such phenomena. We will consider the very meaning of “genocide” as well as the suitability of other terms. We will also discuss different explanations of everything from perpetrators’ motivations to victims’ responses. Finally, we will examine the possibility of preventing genocides. 3 hrs. lect./disc. CMP HIS SOC

Winter 2018

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HIST 0245 - Hist Modern Europe 1800-1900      

History of Modern Europe: 1800-1900
This course will trace several complex threads across the nineteenth century, a period that saw enormous changes in economic structures, political practices, and the experience of daily life. We will look specifically at the construction of nation-states, the industrial revolution and its effects on the lives of the different social classes, the shift from rural to urban life, and the rise of mass culture and its political forms. Taking a cultural perspective, we will consider, for example, the language of working-class politics, the painting of modern urban life, and imperialism in popular culture. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR HIS SOC

Spring 2014, Fall 2017

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HIST 0246 - Modern Europe, 1900-1989      

History of Modern Europe: 1900-1989
Revolution in Eastern Europe and unification in Western Europe have reshaped the contours of the 20th century. This course will move from turn-of-the-century developments in mass culture and politics through World War I and II, the rise and fall of fascism, and on into the postwar era. This century has seen a series of radically new ideas, catastrophes, and then renewed searches for stability. But we will also investigate century-long movements, including de-colonization, the creation of sophisticated consumer cultures, and the battles among ideas of nationalism, ethnicity, and international interdependency. 2 hrs. lect. 1 hr. disc. EUR HIS SOC

Spring 2016

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HIST 0249 - Germany in the 19th Century      

Germany in the Long Nineteenth Century
This chronologically-organized course will examine Germany's development over the long nineteenth century. Pivotal moments in the formation of Germany will be explored, including but not limited to the following topics: the impact of French revolutionary ideas and the Napoleonic Wars on political organization, the revolutions of 1848-9, the industrial revolution, the wars of unification and 1871, the Kulturkampf, and the efforts at colonization in Africa. Beyond politics and economics, however, this course will also attempt to view the developments in high culture and daily life that were intimately tied up with the larger events. This will include themes like the "Catholic ghetto," urban culture, and Marxist philosophy. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR HIS

Spring 2015, Fall 2018

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HIST 0250 / JWST 0250 - The Jews in Modern Europe      

The Jews in Modern Europe
In this course we will map the emergence of Jewish minority culture into the modern Western political, economic, and social mainstream. Our course begins with the Jewish Haskalah (with a few short introductions to Jewish medieval and early modern history) and ends with Israel's founding in the early decades of its history. We will trace the following historical trends: the history of Jewish emancipation; assimilation; intellectual movements; Zionism; Jewish marginalization; race and gender as historical categories in Jewish history; urban and diasporic cultures; war and violence; and international politics in post-Holocaust Europe and the world. 3 hrs. lect./disc. CMP EUR HIS

Spring 2014, Fall 2015

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HIST 0257 / JWST 0257 - The Holocaust      

The Holocaust
Why did the Holocaust happen? How could the Holocaust happen? In this course we will consider several aspects of the Holocaust, including the long-term conditions and events leading up to it, the measures employed in undertaking it, and the aftermath of the atrocities. Beyond a general survey, this course introduces students to the many varying interpretations and historical arguments scholars of the Holocaust have proposed and invites them to discuss and debate these issues in class. 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR HIS

Spring 2015, Fall 2018

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HIST 0406 - French Revolution and Terror      

Readings in Modern European History: Enlightenment, Revolution, and Terror*
The French Revolution provided a model for democratic political reform throughout the world, spreading new ideas about equality, national identity, and rights for minorities. Although informed by the Enlightenment and progressive social thought, it led to the Terror, a period of violence and repression in the name of revolutionary change. We will examine this attempt to create a just society and the corresponding violence against internal and external enemies. We will also consider the Revolution’s origins, the events in France, the shock tremors throughout the world, and the long-term repercussions of change. (formerly HIST 0401) 3 hrs. sem. EUR HIS

Spring 2016

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HIST 0408 / JWST 0408 - The Nazis and the Jews      

Readings in Modern European History: The Nazis and the Jews
Hitler and his functionaries in the Nazi Party initiated and led a vicious campaign to annihilate the Jews of Europe during the Second World War. This seminar will examine the issues and events that helped shape the National Socialist worldview of individuals and groups during the Nazi Holocaust, and will close with an examination of how modern European cultures have addressed the legacy of the Nazi past, including such topics as Holocaust denial and memorialization. (formerly HIST 0424) 3 hr. sem. EUR HIS

Spring 2018

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HIST 0500 - Special Research Projects      

Special research projects may only be taken during the Junior or Senior year, preferable after taking HIST 0600. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.

Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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HIST 0600 - History Research Seminar      

Writing History
All history majors who have not taken a writing and research seminar are required to take HIST 0600 in their junior fall or, if abroad at that time, their senior fall semester. In this course, students will conceive, research, and write a work of history based on primary source material to the degree possible. After reading and discussion on historical methods and research strategies, students will pursue a paper topic as approved by the course professors. HIST 0600 is also open to International Studies and Environmental Studies majors with a disciplinary focus in history. 3 hr. sem

Fall 2015

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HIST 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

The History Senior Thesis is required of all majors. It is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. The project is generally begun in the fall and completed during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring, and such students must still attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops that take place in fall and winter.

Spring 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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Department of History

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753


Axinn Center at Starr Library
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753