Dr. Robert Haug

History is told by those who could write and those who could archive. This has meant that the dominant historical narratives have been those told from the perspectives of states and state institutions.

In this seminar, we will explore the problems and pitfalls of studying the history of the fringes,  focusing on peoples and movements that existed at the margins of state authority or who traversed boundaries in a way that complicated traditional narratives of centralized states. How do we study people and groups who left little or no written records? Worse yet, how do we come to understand them as historical actors when our only sources come from their enemies, rivals, and fleeing prey?

This will be a comparative seminar that will explore topics as diverse as the nomadic pastoralists who built empires as well as those who were crushed by them,  rebels who took to the mountains and those who never came back,  and merchants and mercenaries whose loyalties could be bought.

This is a split-level Undergraduate/Graduate course cross-listed with HIST 6147.