Economic and Social History

http://economics.barnard.edu/majors/descriptions/economics-social-history-major

LeFrak 208
212-854-3454
Department Administrator: Robert O'Connor

Mission

The Economic and Social History major is an interdisciplinary major that combines economic reasoning with different historiographic approaches and quantitative analysis. The major encourages students to develop an understanding of the human experience through the record of the past and acquire intellectual tools to analyze historical changes from an economic and social perspective. Students are exposed to different ways of thinking about the origins of capitalism, the structural features of modern economies, regional differences or global diversity in long-run economic performance and socioeconomic well-being, and the challenges and opportunities facing the global economy today. By looking at both the social and the economic dimensions of the histories of one or more geographical regions, students gain a valuable interdisciplinary perspective that enables them to appreciate and think systematically and critically about the complexities of human interaction.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the major in Economic and Social History will be able to attain the following:

  • Show fluency in basic concepts, models and tools of economic theory and economic history.
  • Understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, and use and evaluate these materials through critical reading and interpretation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of institutions, organizations and markets in their roles of coordinating economic and social activity.
  • Use concepts or methods from multiple disciplines including economics to analyze the past.
  • Articulate a well-defined research question and conduct independent research using economic reasoning and historical evidence.
  • Communicate economic ideas and historical concepts effectively in written or oral form.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and capacity to do in-depth research on a particular geographic area, time period, or central theme in economic and social history.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of economic thought, its relation to historical developments, and influence on past and present economic theory and ideas.
  • Show an appreciation for different historiographic approaches to the study of economic and social history.
  • Show familiarity with varied perspectives on the origins of capitalism and the diversity of economic development across regions.

Students who graduate with a major in Economic and Social History will be prepared to enter graduate programs in history, business, public policy/administration, or to pursue careers such as in public policy or business that call for diverse perspectives and skills.

This program is supervised by the Committee on Economic and Social History:

Program Committee: Alan Dye (Economics), Deborah Valenze (History), David Weiman (Economics), and Carl Wennerlind (History).

Requirements for the Major

A major in Economic History must complete the following 12 courses or their equivalents:

Economics
Theoretical Perspectives:
ECON BC1003Introduction to Economic Reasoning3
ECON BC3041Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy3
ECON BC3033Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory *4
Economic History
Select two of the following, including at least one course (at the 3000 level or higher):6
Economic History of Western Europe
Measuring History: Empirical Approaches to Economic and Social History
Economic History of the United States (another upper-level economic history course may be substituted, subject to economics adviser's approval)
Economic History of Europe
Topics in Economic History
History
Introductory Course in field of historical specialization:
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Later Middle Ages: 1050-1450
Introduction to European History: Renaissance to French Revolution
Introduction to European History: French Revolution to the Present
Survey of American Civilization to the Civil War
Survey of American Civilization Since the Civil War
Introduction to African History: 1700-Present
Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia
Lecture Courses:
Select two of the following:6
HIST BC2116The History of Money3
HIST BC2180Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Making of Atlantic Capitalism3
HIST BC2321Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire3
The Rise of American Capitalism
Workers in Industrial and Post-Industrial America
HSEA GU4884
Seminars:
Select two of the following:8
The Atlantic Slave Trade
Research Seminar: Columbia and Slavery
American Consumer Capitalism: 1800-Present
Other appropriate courses may be substituted subject to the history adviser's approval
Senior Thesis Requirement
ECHS BC3066
 - ECHS BC3067
Senior Research Seminar in Economic History I
and Senior Research Seminar in Economic History II
8
*

ECON BC3035 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, ECON UN3213 Intermediate Macroeconomics, or ECON UN3211 Intermediate Microeconomics may be substituted for ECON BC3033 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

ECHS BC2590 Measuring History: Empirical Approaches to Economic and Social History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

This course examines big themes in economic and social history-population history and human well-being, inequality and poverty, and gender differences. Using these themes, it adopts a hands-on data-driven approach to introduce tools and concepts of empirical reasoning. Datasets related to each theme create opportunities for learning by doing.

ECHS BC3066 Senior Research Seminar in Economic History I. 4 points.

Must be supervised by a faculty member approved by the program adviser.  This is the 1st semester of a two-semester course sequence.

Fall 2017: ECHS BC3066
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECHS 3066 001/07734 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
407 Barnard Hall
Alan Dye 4 8
ECHS 3066 002/08334 W 9:00am - 10:50am
117 Barnard Hall
David Weiman 4 7

ECHS BC3067 Senior Research Seminar in Economic History II. 4 points.

Must be supervised by a faculty member approved by te program adviser.  This is the 2nd semester of a two-semester course sequence.

Spring 2017: ECHS BC3067
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECHS 3067 001/01207 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
308 Diana Center
David Weiman 4 4

Cross-Listed Courses

Economics (Barnard)

ECON BC1003 Introduction to Economic Reasoning. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Covers basic elements of microeconomic and marcoeconomic reasoning at an introductory level. Topics include Individual Constraints and Preferences, Production by Firms, Market Transactions, Competition, The Distribution of Income, Technological Progress and Growth, Unemployment and Inflation, the Role of Government in the Economy.  Note: Students cannot get credit for ECON BC1003 if they have taken the Columbia introductory course ECON W1105 Principles of Economics.

Spring 2017: ECON BC1003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 1003 001/04582 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Homa Zarghamee 3 56/50
ECON 1003 002/06347 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Aboozar Hadavand 3 46/50
Fall 2017: ECON BC1003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 1003 001/04582 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
903 Altschul Hall
Rajiv Sethi 3 49/50
ECON 1003 002/03020 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
302 Barnard Hall
Homa Zarghamee 3 48/55
ECON 1003 003/02004 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Sonia Pereira 3 35/50

ECON BC2012 Economic History of Western Europe. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The course is an introduction to the transformative economic developments that began in Western Europe and spread globally. It applies economic and empirical reasoning to analyze the underlying forces of modern economic development from pre-modern Europe to the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of a global economy.

ECON BC3013 Economic History of the United States. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033, or permission of the instructor.

Economic transformation of the United States from a small, open agrarian society in the late colonial era to the leading industrial economy of the 20th century. Emphasis is given to the quantitative, institutional, and spatial dimensions of economic growth, and the relationship between the changing structures of the economy and state.

Spring 2017: ECON BC3013
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3013 001/02981 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
302 Barnard Hall
David Weiman 3 42/45

ECON BC3023 Topics in Economic History. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033, or permission of the instructor

Topics vary in content.  Fall 2011 topic: The American Century.

ECON BC3033 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: An introductory course in economics and a functioning knowledge of high school algebra and analytical geometry or permission of the instructor.

Systematic exposition of current macroeconomic theories of unemployment, inflation, and international financial adjustments.

Spring 2017: ECON BC3033
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3033 001/06157 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Luis Silva-Yanez 4 39/55
Fall 2017: ECON BC3033
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3033 001/06157 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
504 Diana Center
Andre Burgstaller 4 19

ECON BC3035 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. 4 points.

Prerequisites: An introductory course in microeconomics or a combined macro/micro principles course (ECON BC1003 or ECON W1105, or the equivalent) and one semester of calculus or ECON BC1007, or permission of the instructor.

Preferences and demand; production, cost, and supply; behavior of markets in partial equilibrium; resource allocation in general equilibrium; pricing of goods and services under alternative market structures; implications of individual decision-making for labor supply; income distribution, welfare, and public policy. Emphasis on problem solving.

Spring 2017: ECON BC3035
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3035 001/04588 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
323 Milbank Hall
Lalith Munasinghe 4 35/60
Fall 2017: ECON BC3035
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3035 001/04588 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
302 Barnard Hall
Lalith Munasinghe 4 44/60

ECON BC3041 Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: An introductory course in economics or permission of the instructor.

Intellectual origins of the main schools of thought in political economy. Study of the founding texts in classical political economy, Marxian economics, neoclassicism, and Keynesianism.

Spring 2017: ECON BC3041
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3041 001/07742 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
304 Barnard Hall
Andre Burgstaller 3 66
Fall 2017: ECON BC3041
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3041 001/07742 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
328 Milbank Hall
David Weiman 3 36/45
ECON 3041 002/08111 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Ll104 Diana Center
Belinda Archibong 3 37/45

History

HIST BC1062 Introduction to Later Middle Ages: 1050-1450. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Social environment, political, and religious institutions, and the main intellectual currents of the Latin West studied through primary sources and modern historical writings.

HIST BC1101 Introduction to European History: Renaissance to French Revolution. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Political, economic, social, religious, and intellectual history of early modern Europe, including the Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, absolutism, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment.

Fall 2017: HIST BC1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1101 001/05950 W 10:10am - 11:25am
304 Barnard Hall
Deborah Valenze 4 83/110
HIST 1101 001/05950 M 10:10am - 11:25am
328 Milbank Hall
Deborah Valenze 4 83/110

HIST BC1302 Introduction to European History: French Revolution to the Present. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Emergence of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary mass political movements; European industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism; 20th-century world wars, the Great Depression, and Fascism.

Spring 2017: HIST BC1302
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1302 001/02084 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
304 Barnard Hall
Lisa Tiersten 4 75/95

HIST BC1401 Survey of American Civilization to the Civil War. 4 points.

The major theological and social concerns of 17th-century English colonists; the political and ideological process of defining an American; the social and economic forces that shaped a distinctive national identity; the nature of the regional conflicts that culminated in civil war.

Fall 2017: HIST BC1401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1401 001/02245 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
302 Barnard Hall
Herbert Sloan 4 23/60

HIST BC1402 Survey of American Civilization Since the Civil War. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Examines the major intellectual and social accommodations made by Americans to industrialization and urbanization; patterns of political thought from Reconstruction to the New Deal; selected topics on post-World War II developments.

Spring 2017: HIST BC1402
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1402 001/02332 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
405 Milbank Hall
Robert McCaughey 4 48/90

HIST BC1760 Introduction to African History: 1700-Present. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Corequisites: Students who take this course may also take Introduction to Africa Studies: Africa Past, Present, and Future.

Survey of African history from the 18th century to the contemporary period. We will explore six major themes in African History: Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World, Colonialism in Africa, the 1940s, Nationalism and Independence Movements, Post-Colonialism in Africa, and Issues in the Making of Contemporary Africa.

HIST BC1801 Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Introduction to South Asian history (17-20 c.) that explores the colonial economy and state formation; constitution of religious and cultural identities; ideologies of nationalism and communalism, caste and gender politics; visual culture; and the South Asian diaspora.

HIST BC2116 The History of Money. 3 points.

Examining the history of money and the history of ways of thinking about money. We investigate how different monetary forms developed and how they have shaped and been shaped by culture, society, and politics. Tracing money from gift-giving societies to the European Monetary Union, the focus is on early modern Europe.

HIST BC2180 Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Making of Atlantic Capitalism. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

Examines how the Atlantic Ocean and its boundaries were tied together through the flow of people, goods, and ideas. Studies the cultures of the communities formed by merchants, pirates, and slaves; investigates how their interactions and frictions combined to shape the unique combination of liberty and oppression that characterizes early modern capitalism.

HIST BC2321 Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

Examines the shaping of European cultural identity through encounters with non-European cultures from 1500 to the post-colonial era. Novels, paintings, and films will be among the sources used to examine such topics as exoticism in the Enlightenment, slavery and European capitalism, Orientalism in art, ethnographic writings on the primitive, and tourism.

HIST BC3062 Medieval Economic Life and Thought ca 1000 to 1500. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Traces the development of economic enterprises and techniques in their cultural context: agricultural markets, industry, commercial partnerships, credit, large-scale banking, insurance, and merchant culture. Examines usury and just price theory, the scholastic analysis of price and value, and the recognition of the market as a self-regulating system, centuries before Adam Smith.

HIST BC3119 Capitalism and Enlightenment. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Traces the lively debates amongst the major European Enlightenment figures about the formation of capitalism. Was the new market society ushering in an era of wealth and civilization or was it promoting corruption and exploitation? Particular emphasis on debates about commerce, luxury, greed, poverty, empire, slavery, and liberty.

HIST BC3332 The Politics of Leisure in Modern Europe. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Transformations in the culture of leisure from the onset of industrialization to the present day. Relations between elite and popular culture and the changing relationship between the work world and the world of leisure will be among the topics considered in such settings as the department store, the pub, the cinema, and the tourist resort.

HIST W3411 The Rise of American Capitalism. 3 points.

E-Commerce & Internet Technologies Track, Managing Emerging Technologies Track, Project Management Track, Discussion Section Required, Lab Required

Examines the social conflicts that accompanied the transformation of the United States from an agrarian republic and slave society to one of the most powerful industrial nations in the world. Particular attention will be paid to the building of new social and economic institutions and to cultural and visual representations of the nation and its people. Readings include major secondary works and primary documents. Formerly: American Society in the age of Capital, 1819-1897. Field(s): US

HIST W3503 Workers in Industrial and Post-Industrial America. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The history of work, workers, and unions during the 20th century.  Topics include scientific management, automation, immigrant workers, the rise of industrial unionism, labor politics, occupational discrimination, and working-class community life. Field(s): US

HIST BC3886 Fashion. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: At least one course in a Non-U.S. Area in History, Literature, Anthropology, Film Studies or Art History. Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Investigates the cultural, material and technological conditions that facilitated the development of "fashion systems" in early modern Europe, Japan and contemporary Asian diasporic communities. In the global framework, "fashion" serves as a window into the politics of self-presentation, community formation, structure of desires, and struggles over representation.

HIST BC3905 Capitalism, Colonialism, and Culture: A Global History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

From Indian Ocean worlds of the seventeenth century, to Atlantic world slavery, to the establishment of colonies in Asia and Africa during the nineteenth century, colonization was critical to the development of metropolitan ideas regarding politics and personhood. This seminar will examine these histories, along with emerging constructions of race and gender, as precursors to debates about human rights and humanitarianism in the twentieth century.

HSEA W4884 Merchants, Markets, Modernity - China. 4 points.

From Marx's Asiatic Mode of Production to contemporary notions of Confucian capitalism, theories abound to explain China's divergence from Western patterns of political and economic development. This course critiques these theories and looks at the Chinese economy starting with its own internal logic to explore the social, cultural, institutional and political forces that underlay Chinese economic practice, the role of markets, merchants, labor, and the state in the making of modern China. No prerequisite.

HIST W4434 The Atlantic Slave Trade. 4 points.

This seminar provides an intensive introduction to the history of the Atlantic slave trade. The course will consider the impact of the traffic on Western Europe and the Americas, as well as on Africa, and will give special attention to the experiences of both captives and captors. Assignments include three short papers and a longer research paper of 20 to 25 pages. Field(s): INTL 

HIST W4518 Research Seminar: Columbia and Slavery. 4 points.

In this course, students will write​ ​ original, independent​ ​ papers of around 25 pages, based on research in both​ ​ primary and secondary sources, on an aspect of the relationship between Columbia​ ​ College​,​ and its colonial predecessor King's College, with the institution of slavery​.​

HIST W4569 American Consumer Capitalism: 1800-Present. 4 points.

This seminar studies the history of consumer capitalism in America from the early 19th century to the present. It will establish when capitalism emerged, what it meant, and how it challenged and transformed American Civilization