Europe and the Mediterranean World

The Europe and the Mediterranean World concentration offers students the opportunity to explore the histories of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, and connections between these places and the larger world. We look at the continual flow of ideas, people, and material goods across this region, from the earliest states in the ancient world until today. We examine how empires, colonialism, religion, culture, the environment, and social and economic forces, including the development of capitalism and of the nation-state, shaped these interactions in profound ways. Collectively, we trace over 5000 years of intersecting histories, examining linkages and conflicts forged by geography, trade, war, migration, imperial aspirations, colonial violence, religious and ethnic minorities, and struggles for liberation.

The caucus includes intensive study of the histories of Europe, Russia, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as imperial, colonial, and transnational histories that trace the changing relations among these places. Major periods and areas of focus include the ancient and medieval worlds, oceanic empires in the early modern period (1450-1800), modern imperialism and colonialism, and decolonization and postcolonial states in the twentieth century.


Major Requirements

The history major requires a minimum of 12 unique courses. At least eight of the 12 courses must be upper-division (HIS 100-199). A maximum of four courses, including the introductory survey course, may be lower-division (HIS 1-99).

Region of Concentration: Europe and the Mediterranean World (6 courses)

I. One lower-division introductory survey course:

All of the above courses satisfy the Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC) general education requirement.

II. Four additional Europe and the Mediterranean World courses, three of which must be upper-division

III. One Europe and the Mediterranean World Comprehensive Requirement

Historical Skills and Methods (1 course)

IV. HIS 100, Historical Skills and Methods

HIS 100 introduce history majors to historical methods and provides preparation for advanced historical research. Students develop critical reading, historical analysis, research, and disciplinary writing skills. HIS 100 also satisfies the Textual Analysis and Interpretation (TA) general education requirement.

Students who enter UCSC as frosh are expected to complete HIS 100 by the end of their second year. Transfer students are expected to complete HIS 100 no later than their second term at UCSC.

Catalog of Course Requirements

The History Catalog of Course Requirements indicates what region(s) of concentration and what chronological distribution requirement(s) individual history courses may apply toward.

Breadth Requirements (4 courses)

V. Two courses from each of the remaining two regions of concentration:

Upper-Division Elective (1 course)

One additional upper-division history course of your choice from any of the three regions of concentration

Distribution Requirements

Of the 12 courses required for the major, at least three must meet chronological distribution requirements. One must be set before 600 C.E., and two must be set in periods prior to the year 1800 C.E.

Intensive Major Option

The intensive history major offers students a pathway to enrich their study of history, refine their skills in writing and research, and receive a designation on their transcripts that signals their ambition and accomplishment to potential employers and graduate schools. All history majors are eligible to declare the intensive track, including junior transfers. If a student attempts but does not complete the intensive track they may still graduate with a standard history degree, provided the appropriate major coursework has been completed.

Bruce A Thompson
  • Title
    • Continuing Lecturer
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
    • Literature Department
  • Affiliations Jewish Studies
  • Phone
    831-459-3467 (office)
  • Email
  • Fax
    831-459-3334
  • Office Location
    • Stevenson College Academic Building, 276 Stevenson College
  • Office Hours Spring 2020: MW @ 1:30-5:00: please email in advance to set up Zoom meeting during office hours.
  • Mail Stop Stevenson Academic Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise California History, Climate Change, Environmental History, European Studies, Film, History, Jewish Studies and Judaism, Religion and Secularism, War
  • Courses HIS 70B, Modern European History, 1815-present; HIS 74, Introduction to Modern Jewish History; HIS 75, Film and the Holocaust; HIS 155, History of Modern Israel; HIS 174, Spies: History and Culture of Espionage; HIS 178B, European Intellectual History, 1770-1870; HIS 178C, European Intellectual History, 1870-1970; HIS 178E, Modern Jewish Intellectual History; HIS 196E, Modern Irish History; HIS 196F, European Environmental History

Summary of Expertise

European history, Jewish history and literature.

Research Interests

European intellectual and cultural history, French history, Jewish intellectual and cultural history, British and Irish history, history of cinema, history of espionage, environmental history.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., Stanford University

Selected Publications

  • Co-Editor, Varieties of Antisemitism: History, Ideology, Discourse, (University of Delaware Press, 2010)
  • The Literal Imagination: Selected Essays by Ian Watt Palo Alto: SPOSS, 2003
  • Entries in Reader's Guide to British History: "Burke, Edmund," "Fiction: Romantic Era," "Drama: 1914-present"; "Painting:Holbein to Hogarth"; "Painting: Gainsborough to Sickert" London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003
  • "Restoring the Rhine: Salmon 2000," in History in Dispute: Global Water Issues Since 1945, Columbia, S.C.: Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc./Manly, 2001
  • Critical History: The Career of Ian Watt, Stanford Humanities Review (co-editor) Palo Alto: SPOSS, 2000
  • Entries in Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing: "Jerome Blum" (pp. 96-97), "Robert Brenner" (pp. 124-125), "Felix Gilbert" (pp. 465-467), "Leszek Kolakowski" (pp. 652-653), "Garrett Mattingly" (pp. 785-786), "Barrington Moore" (pp. 835-836), "Simon Schama" (pp. 1057-1058), London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999
  • "Ernest Gellner and the Conditions of Liberty," Stanford Humanities Review, 5:2, pp. 287-290, 1997
  • Co-Editor, Tact and Intelligence: Essays on Diplomatic History and International Relations by Gordon A. Craig
  • Co-Editor, Knowledge and Power: Essays on Politics, Culture, and War by Gordon A. Craig

Teaching Interests

European intellectual and cultural history, French history, Jewish intellectual and cultural history, British and Irish history, history of cinema, history of espionage, environmental history.