Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students



Why do we categorize some acts of violence as terrorism? How do people who engage in such violence legitimize their actions? What are the effects of terror on politics, society, and culture? This course explores these questions around the globe from the 19th century to the present.

We examine wide-ranging topics, including the history of Russian radicalism; racial terror in the United States; anarchism; the terror of empire and anti-imperialism in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia; the global politics of surveillance and counter-terrorism; the intersection of gender, race, religion and policing; and the representation of terrorism in literature, film, television, journalism, and law. Analyzing a variety of sources—from manifestos and autobiographies to novels, music, and movies—students will gain a deeper understanding of the complex questions that shape how we see this phenomenon, how it has shaped our modern world, and how it affects all of our lives.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Robert Crews

"I study the history of empire, religion, nationalism, minorities, war, migration, and related subjects. I have recently taught and written about Russia, Islam, Afghanistan, the war on drugs, and the global refugee crisis. In my courses, I try to challenge students to see how the past connects to the present, while exposing students to a wide range of source material, from propaganda posters to music, fiction, architecture, and film, and pushing them to develop close reading, analytical, and writing skills."